The two films featuring Green Day that premiered at SXSW are rooted in the same concept: Chronicle the creative process.
"¡Cuatro!," a 70-minute film that the band and their manager Pat Magnarella had a hand in producing, is electrifying in the way it is shot and edited, illuminating in the details of how Billie Joe Armstrong, Mike Dirnt and Tre Col approached the 60-odd songs they had in contention for albums that would become "¡Uno!," "¡Dos!" and "¡Tré!"
It is a very good "making of" documentary, a fine companion to the three albums. Director Tim Wheeler focuses on the viscerally intense songs from the three records and, more than anything, showcases Armstrong, Dirnt and Cool as exceptionally imaginative musicians willing to experiment openly with their music. "¡Cuatro!," in a curious way, makes the idea of releasing three albums within five months of each other more logical than ballsy.
"Broadway Idiot" began in Berkeley, Calif., as a document of the creation of a musical, yet it takes the viewer on an entirely different ride than "¡Cuatro!" or any other "making of" film about a Broadway show. It, too, involves the creative process, though here Green Day - and especially Armstrong - play the role of outsiders.