On Take-Away Shows

Vincent Moon

  • By Martin Horn
For 6 years now, homeless Parisian Vincent Moon (nee Mathieu Saurat) has been traveling the world making short films, “Take Away Shows” or “Les Concerts a Emporter”, with musicians and bands from Paris to Los Angeles and everywhere in between. With a visual style not unlike Cinema Verité and a taste for adventure (and the unusual), Moon has almost single handedly created a new genre of music-video, especially suited to the ways in which we consume music on the web.

The films feature live, often acoustic performances by the bands. What immediately distinguishes the films from music videos, or in studio MTV Unplugged style performances, is the often odd choice of locations for the videos. They are often shot outside, and a favourite trope of the Take Away Shows is to allow elements of the environment to come into the film, becoming part of the performance. Where many filmmakers in similar situations would fight against these intruding elements, Moon and his collaborators seem keen to invite them in. Little Scream’s Take Away Show is a good example of this comes to mind, as singer Laurel Sprenglemayer addresses the irritation of an elderly Portuguese man in the Toronto park as they are about to play.

Mitch Fillion

There have been over 300 Take Away Shows filmed to date, and the operation has expanded to include other filmmakers and volunteers. The style of the take away shows has inspired other filmmakers to take on this mission. One notable example is Hamilton, Ontario’s Mitch Fillion (himself once a Moon volunteer), with his Southern Souls video series which features bands from across Canada, which he shoots, edits, and mixes at an astounding pace (Southern Souls now features hundreds of videos, with new ones added weekly).
  • Martin Horn is a recording engineer, musician and writer living in Montreal. Check out his band and his studio.