1 user 5 critic

The Past is a Grotesque Animal (2014)

1:56 | Trailer
A personal, accessible look at an artist - Kevin Barnes, frontman of the endlessly versatile indie pop band of Montreal - whose pursuit to make transcendent music at all costs drives him to... See full summary »


Jason Miller


Jason Miller (co-writer), Andrew Napier (co-writer)



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Credited cast:
Dottie Alexander Dottie Alexander ... Herself
Derek Almstead Derek Almstead ... Himself
David Barnes David Barnes ... Himself
Kevin Barnes Kevin Barnes ... Himself
Nina Barnes Nina Barnes ... Herself
Jon Brion ... Himself
Rebecca Cash Rebecca Cash ... Herself
Matthew Paris Dawson Matthew Paris Dawson ... Himself
Dan Donahue Dan Donahue ... Himself
Sam France ... Himself
Nick Gould Nick Gould ... Himself
Elias Gowins Elias Gowins ... Himself
Lord Grunge Lord Grunge ... Himself
James Huggins James Huggins ... Himself
Josh Jackson Josh Jackson ... Himself


A personal, accessible look at an artist - Kevin Barnes, frontman of the endlessly versatile indie pop band of Montreal - whose pursuit to make transcendent music at all costs drives him to value art over human relationships. As he struggles with all of those around him, family and bandmates alike, he's forced to reconsider the future of the band, begging the question - is this really worth it? Written by Oscilloscope Laboratories

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Official Sites:

Official Facebook | Official site | See more »





Release Date:

16 June 2014 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Song Dynasties See more »


Box Office


$100,000 (estimated)

Gross USA:


Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

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Company Credits

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Technical Specs




Aspect Ratio:

1.78 : 1
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Did You Know?


Kevin Barnes: I've learned how to cope with things like this cat picture.
[shows picture of cat to camera]
Kevin Barnes: It's not going to produce anxiety, basically is what I'm trying to say. Even though it's got a bullshit face and fucking terrible eyes and he's wearing a scarf,
[throws picture down on table]
Kevin Barnes: that cat will do nothing to me, because I'm strong. I have strength.
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References Star Wars: Episode IV - A New Hope (1977) See more »

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User Reviews

2 July 2014 | by guiltypepSee all my reviews

As someone who just got into the band via their latest release "Lousy with Sylvianbriar', I was completely unaware of how versatile and prolific Of Montreal have been over the past decade and a half. This film exposed me to their music and history in the most immersive and interesting way possible. If you're unfamiliar with them, I recommend just diving into this film. Since watching it, I haven't been able to listen to anything else. Their catalogue is expansive and quite phenomenal. As far as 'Rock Docs' go, of which I've seen a million, this is right up there with the best. It may, in fact, be my favourite. What a trip it is to take in under 2 hours. Long live Kevin Barnes' Of Montreal!

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