R.E.M. was the quintessential American indie outfit until around 1988, at which point the band signed to Warner Bros., dove into the mainstream and stayed there, quite profitably. Crucial to the band's mass success was its omnipresence on MTV, as decisively central to its generation as YouTube is to today's. R.E.M. was one of those bands with a visual sophistication that matched its musical one; the guys from Athens were a hand-in-glove fit for MTV. The documentary R.E.M. by MTV
relates its story from bar-band origins to international stadium tours. The film draws heavily on rarely seen footage culled from MTV's vast archives, and also features exclusive band interviews, clips from award shows and talk-show performances and, of course, Georgia jangle. R.E.M. by MTV
screens at 7:30 p.m. tonight at Wehrenberg Ronnies 20 Cine (5320 South Lindbergh Boulevard; www.fathomevents.com
). Tickets are $15.
Tue., May 19, 7:30 p.m., 2015