As another Arcade Fire era passes, another film documenting said era comes around to help us celebrate. As with Mirror Noir, Arcade Fire do things a little differently; rather than give us a talking heads-style documentary, or a full-on live show extravaganza to celebrate the Reflektor era we get something completely different, a mixture of the two but with Arcade Fire's unique stamp all over it.

There are moments when The Reflektor Tapes comes across more as an intellectual exercise rather than a simple form of entertainment as it forces the audience to work hard at attempting to glean some sort of information on the recording process from statements that don't seem to be connected to anything musical at all. This is especially true throughout the first half of the film, the part that focuses on the recording of Reflektor - you would want every single word to give some sort of insight, an indication towards the motivations for why Arcade Fire did what they did on Reflektor. This is where the length of the film becomes a disadvantage; before you've had a chance to digest what has been said there's a new scene, a new idea or a live scene that demands your attention and the opportunity to dwell on something slightly less obvious is lost.

That's not to say that this is indicative of the whole film, far from it. There are many, many moments that the film is incredibly detailed, open, honest and insightful. When Regine speaks she mainly speaks about rhythms, and how Haiti and her upbringing inspired that. This might not seem so important; we know just from listening to Reflektor that Arcade Fire brought new sounds into their equation, but to hear a band member speak about how the band wanted to create hybrid rhythms, how Arcade Fire wanted to have a new way of thinking about rhythms and music adds an extra layer to the aforementioned album, as does seeing how these rhythms were created and what inspired the band to not just put these on the album but fit everything else on the album around these rhythms and ideas. Seeing the clash of rhythmic cultures of Win and Regine on one side and Haitian musicians on the other, eventually coming together to create something is a beautiful sight.

When the film gets around to fully focusing on the live shows of the Reflektor era it feels as though there's an order to the film as though the band are now following a chronology of events rather than flicking between live shows and recording videos. The film doesn't dwell on the Earl's Court shows for too long, but in a way that makes them stand out far more than a whole concert film and heightens their impact. The added effects are wondrous and the camera angles give a fan's eye view of the concert most of time which adds an extra sense of excitement. I was at one of the Earl's Court shows and they were exhilarating and mesmerising, so it's fortunate The Reflektor Tapes manages to capture that essence and translate it to the viewer.

The Reflektor Tapes is neither a comprehensive insight into the recording or Reflektor, nor is it a spectacular reliving of the shows Arcade Fire played to support the album. At just over an hour in length it couldn't possibly be one or the other in full, let alone cover both which it attempts to do. Could it be longer? Yes. Could it be more detailed? Yes. The fact Arcade Fire give us snippets lends a little more mystery to The Reflektor Tapes and subsequently the band, but it also means the impact of the little pieces we do get is far bigger because we have to savour them. In true Arcade Fire fashion, it's unconventional but it works.