A young man travels to Colorado with fourteen cases of beer in hopes of turning a profit at a Phish concert. Micah Van Hove and Jacob King direct “Super Heady,” a cinema verite portrait of jamband culture that flows from road movie into a surprisingly elaborate depiction of the Phish lot scene. It builds slowly and patiently but not without conflict, mainly in the form of petty bickering between Jacob and his beer selling partner regarding the logistics of hawking their homemade IPA’s (should they buy a garden cart or a wheeled cooler to transport the beers?). When they arrive to the campground, they get to work offloading their inventory, but it proves more challenging than anticipated and begins to threaten their chances of making it into the show on time. It’s an impressive feat to keep all this interesting (especially for non Phish fans), but the film resonates in surprising ways and beautifully captures the rising anticipation > transcendence of a musical experience > the come down. A youthful period of drugs and booze may seem inconsequential and filled with self-inflicted stress but it’s depicted here as a herculean endeavor (see: Jacob lugging cases of beer, exhausted) — it works because it’s real and isn’t afraid to show the boys warts and all. We previously featured Van Hove with his 2015 feature,“Menthol,” and more recently with last year’s “Del Arco Vacío.” -KA.
Directed by Jacob King and Micah Van Hove. Edited by Jeffrey Reeser and Micah Van Hove. DP: Micah Van Hove.