By the time The National released their sixth album, Trouble Will Find Me, last spring, the hard-working indie band had finally attained a level of fame and mainstream success that is often accompanied by documentary film crews and behind-the-music drama. But true to the band’s band-of-brothers kinship and conscientious sensibilities, the guy holding the camera for their close-up wasn’t some Hollywood auteur, and the backstage drama had to be imported. In Mistaken for Strangers, National frontman Matt Berninger invited his younger brother Tom to work the 2010 High Violet tour as a roadie. An aspiring filmmaker, Tom brought along his camera to make a few videos to post on the band’s website. Instead, Tom became the center of a meta documentary about two brothers: one, a rock god; the other, a laid-back dreamer just trying to finish what he started, for once.
Mistaken for Strangers opened last year’s Tribeca Film Festival, and its rapturous reception made Tom Berninger, an unabashed slacker who prefers heavy metal to “pretentious [indie] bullsh-t,” as much a celebrity as his rock-star brother. “At the after-party, these famous people and other filmmakers were telling me how much they loved it,” says Tom, still awed by the experience nine months later. “I always wanted to be in the movie business but I never took myself very seriously until that moment.” READ FULL STORY