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Muse gets unsettlingly close in concert film

First Published Nov 01 2013 01:01 am • Last Updated Feb 14 2014 11:37 pm

Muse frontman Matt Bellamy had to be more than just camera-ready for "Muse — Live at Rome Olympic Stadium." The British rock band’s new concert film was shot in 4K, which meant a whole new level of detail.

"There’s weird things like hair and stuff that you probably would never pay attention to," Bellamy said. "It’s so much more noticeably sharper that it’s almost unsettling at first."

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"Muse — Live at Rome Olympic Stadium," directed by Matt Askem, is the first concert film released in the new ultra-high-definition format. Also called 4K, UHD has a much better resolution than regular HD and is considered the next technological leap in film and television. Thousands of movies have been shot in 4K, but almost all of them have been shrunk down to HD format before being screened. Exceptions include Sony’s 2011 remake of "The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo" and Will Smith’s sci-fi adventure "After Earth."

Fans will get a first look at the Muse film Nov. 5 when it debuts in 20 cities around the globe, before expanding to 700 theaters worldwide the next day in 2K and 4K. It will screen Nov. 6 at The Megaplex Gateway in Salt Lake City.

Bellamy said in a phone interview Wednesday from Costa Rica that the band was inspired by U2’s use of then-new technology in the 2008 concert film "U23D," so they decided to kick up the production values and aim for something a little more grand.

A trailer shows video screens stories tall and pyrotechnics backing the band. Spider cameras crawled over rigging above the crowd during the July concert, and a pair of actors contributed abstract theatrical interpretations of some of the songs.

Even so, Bellamy said when he saw the movie, his eyes often drifted away from the action onstage to the vivid details elsewhere. "You see the sort of big panning [shot] across the audience and your eyes are drawn to the details of so many people’s heads and what they’re wearing," he said.

The release of the film and the conclusion next month of a long world tour leaves Muse, which also includes bassist Chris Wolstenholme and drummer Dominic Howard, at something of a crossroads with no concrete plans at the end of a six-album record deal.

"Early next year I think we’ll probably take a break for a few months and at some point next year we’ll start writing new music," Bellamy said. "I think if everyone is up for it, we’ll start recording music sometime next year."




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