My Review of Talihina Sky

Posted on July 12, 2011 at 7:50 PM

...where they came from...

After seeing the film twice now, I realised on second viewing that there were so many little things I missed when I seen it for the first time at the Premiere at the Festival Theatre in Edinburgh.

I won't go into a scene-by-scene description of the film, as many of my favourite scenes have already been detailed perfectly by people who seen it at the Tribeca Film Festival. Instead, I would rather discuss the sequences i loved.

In particular, when they took one song, Molly's Chambers, and played it with clips from throughout the band’s career. This was also done with the Song/Chant/Huddle that the band do before every gig.

The sequences of the guys recording Aha Shake Heartbreak and Only By The Night are really fantastic, but it would have been more of a "complete picture" if there were also clips of the process for Youth and Young Manhood and Because Of The Times. (The band have stated that the YAYM footage was stolen from a rented car). As far as I could tell, the most up to date footage in the film was from Nathan & Jessie's wedding in November 2009. Hopefully they continued filming into the following year to cover the recording of Come Around Sundown for future release… maybe?

The band's family are the real stars of the film, they come across as genuine, down to earth people and just about every scene they are in is either hilarious or poignant, especially those that feature Ivan, BettyAnn and Uncle Cleo. The film covers a lot of the Followill/Brown annual reunions in Oklahoma and highlights the family’s ever-present competitiveness during the games played there!


A really great part in the film is when the entire family go to see the band at the huge Ford Center in Oklahoma City in Oct 2009. I particularly loved the slow-mo footage of their Granny & Grandpa watching the band perform.

It was amazing to see so many home videos and photos of the guys when they were kids, teenagers, at the start of their career, travelling the world etc. I especially loved the closing titles where they mixed old photos with footage of the band, sitting in a the middle of the Ford Centre, OK in 2009, playing a stunning acoustic version of Talihina Sky. This version of the song was a personal highlight of the film and I would love for it to be released.

I can't imagine another band of Kings of Leon's status releasing such an honest "warts and all" documentary. It gives you a fascinating insight into their world growing up within a strict religious family and just how far removed, at times, they live their lives now.


Overall, the film holds nothing back and leaves you wanting more, 87 minutes really is not long enough! It’s a must see for every fan and non-fan alike.

The film starts with the band sound checking in 2008 with an instrumental of Radioactive and ends, with the now familiar, recorded version of the song. This makes a perfect full-circle song to use, as the film is really all about where they came from. I would personally like everyone to see this film who have every said that the band's back-story was fabricated to make them seem more interesting, or those that have said the band have "sold out". Maybe then, they will realise just exactly where they came from and why they deserve their place as one of, if not the best, Rock Band of their generation.


Categories: Talihina Sky Film