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As the front man of the Clash from 1977 onwards, Joe Strummer changed people's lives forever. Four years after his death, his influence reaches out around the world, more strongly now than ever before. In "The Future Is Unwritten", from British film director Julien Temple, Joe Strummer is revealed not just as a legend or musician, but as a true communicator of our times. Drawing on both a shared punk history and the close personal friendship which developed over the last years of Joe's life, Julien Temple's film is a celebration of Joe Strummer - before, during and after the Clash. Written by
IFC First Take
What a documentary film that made by Julien Temple, Filmmaker Julien
chronicles the transformation of a self-described "mouthy little git,"
born John Mellor, into an anti establishment icon known to the world as
Joe Strummer. In his latest documentary, Temple uncovers the myth
behind the front man of the seminal punk band the Clash. Through
previously unearthed interviews with Strummer himself and recollections
of those who knew him best, Temple reveals a complex man who used his
music as a bullhorn for his conscience-as well as a means to educate
others about the injustices of the world. The film includes live
concert footage spanning Strummer's career and tapes of his BBC radio
program, all of which provide a fitting soundtrack to his distinctive
and storied existence. The performance footage would be fascinating on
its own, but Temple probes beyond Strummer's mystique to reveal a
person with his own flaws who could sometimes be idealistic to a fault.
Temple has created a thoughtful and poignant portrait of a man many
think they knew. 'Joe Strummer: The Future Is Unwritten' provides a
rare glimpse into the man behind the legend of "punk rock warlord."
There are personal interviews with some of the surviving members of The
Clash, as well as with people like Bono and John Cusack that are very
personal, and serve the film well. They don't stand out as "Look! We've
stuck a celebrity in here!" Temple uses a campfire setting for most of
these interviews, and given the fact that Strummer used to Organize
large campfire celebrations before he died, it's only fitting. One
thing for certain is that the Joe Strummer we see at the campfires is a
much more approachable and likable figure than the Strummer who avoids
confrontations and has other people fire band members during the heyday
of The Clash.
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