Hype! (1996) is a documentary directed by Doug Pray about the popularity of grunge rock in the early to mid-1990s United States. It incorporates interviews and rare concert footage to trace the steps of grunge, from its subversive inception in neighborhood basements, to its explosion as a pop culture phenomenon. Hype! shows grunge from the point of view of people within the grunge scene, and attempts to dispel some of the myths of the genre promulgated by media hype, hence the title. The movie generally portrays the latter faction in a satirical way, though acknowledges that media hype helped to propel some of these obscure bands to brief fame.
|Directed by||Doug Pray|
|Produced by||Steven Helvey|
|Edited by||Doug Pray|
|Distributed by||Lions Gate Entertainment|
The film premiered at the Sundance Film Festival in January 1996. It opened to general audiences on November 8 of the same year.
Hype! includes interviews and performances from bands (primarily oriented with the Sub Pop Records axis) such as TAD, Mudhoney, Nirvana, Soundgarden, Coffin Break, The Gits, Love Battery, Flop, The Melvins, Some Velvet Sidewalk, Mono Men, Supersuckers, Zipgun, Seaweed, Pearl Jam, 7 Year Bitch, Hovercraft, Gas Huffer, and Fastbacks. It also features interviews with band manager Susan Silver, record producers Jack Endino and Steve Fisk, and photographer Charles Peterson.
Along with the DVD that comes with Nirvana's With the Lights Out, it is one of the few films to contain video footage of Nirvana's first performance of their breakthrough hit, "Smells Like Teen Spirit".
In her book No Logo, Naomi Klein refers to an interview with Eddie Vedder from the documentary. Vedder commented that Seattle should use its influence positively. Klein's argument is that grunge had already been co-opted by corporate America.