That’s Roger Ebert’s verdict, and for once he might be right. You don’t need to know the backstory on this to appreciate it but you’ll enjoy it more if you do. Quite simply, Grand Rapids ended up on some magazine’s list of “America’s Dying Cities”; the locals took exception and set out to prove that they’re still very much alive, and this is the result — 10 minutes, featuring a cast of 5,000, paid for with $40,000 that the director and a colleague raised themselves. Displays of civic pride are often rote and occasionally schmaltzy, but this one manages to be genuinely touching. It’s a time capsule from the heartland, certainly the most American music video ever made whether or not it’s the greatest. You’ll enjoy every minute. And trust me, you’ll want to watch every minute, if only to marvel at the coordination.
One take, guys. One. Take.