Joe Strummer: The Future Is Unwritten

A CELEBRATION OF JOE STRUMMER – BEFORE, DURING AND AFTER THE CLASH.

After telling the story of The Sex Pistols in The Filth and the Fury (2000), director Julien Temple delivered another documentary about a rock icon, Joe Strummer. This is the story of his life, how The Clash was formed and how the band ironically turned into everything it tried to rebel against. It’s a very interesting story and the portrait of Strummer’s desire to fight conformity and his genuine curiosity that stayed with him right until his untimely death becomes both moving and inspirational. Interviews are mixed with footage from various periods as well as a few satirical tidbits; entertaining, but the filmmakers also know when the time is right to slow things down a bit. The interviews take place around campfires, an effective and symbolic ingredient.

2007-Britain-Ireland. 125 min. Color. Produced by Anna Campeau, Alan Moloney, Amanda Temple. Directed by Julien Temple.

Trivia: Celebrities making appearances include Johnny Depp, Matt Dillon, Martin Scorsese, Bono, Steve Buscemi, John Cusack and Jim Jarmusch.

Last word: “I was born in the same year [he was] so I wanted to make a history of our culture through [that] kind of framing device: how Joe was educated, how he was shaped by our culture and then went on to have some quite profound impacts on English and global culture. On one level it was a social history, on another level it was a film about a friend. It wasn’t really a film about music. You can call it a music film if you want but it’s about celebrity [and] its effect [on] not just the fans but on somebody famous. Those were various elements that seem intimate to me but his life throws up so many ideas. I like him as a philosopher more than as a rock star.” (Temple, Rotten Tomatoes)

 

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