"Strange Fruit" had everything that makes a legendary rockband: Money, Fame, Success, Groupies, a Singer who died of drugs and even a divine ending, when lightning struck the stage during ...
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"Strange Fruit" had everything that makes a legendary rockband: Money, Fame, Success, Groupies, a Singer who died of drugs and even a divine ending, when lightning struck the stage during an open-air. Twenty years later, all band members are minding their own businesses, the idea of a band reunion is brought up by, well, public request. Tony, the former keyboard player, sets out only to find his former friends working as a roofer, a gardener and a hotel clerk. They all became rather everyday people, married or still single, they definitely are not wild and crazy anymore. But with the help of former manager Karen, who is still dreaming of Brian, the apparently deceased lead guitarist, they all, old, fat and wrinkled as they are, try to catch that spirit again. Written by
The "Druid Circle" they visit actually a real life stone circle in the village of Avebury. The circle is known as "Avebury Circle" and the pub they visit in the film is still there and operating. See more »
At the end of the song "Dirty Town", a sustained chord is heard on the guitar which is punctuated by the guitarist rapidly switching the guitar's toggle pickup selector. This effect is impossible to achieve using the Yamaha Pacifica guitar that Luke Shand plays in the film. See more »
[to Les and Beano]
Chrissake. This was about us. This was our second shot, and it was working. Anybody who was at Antwerp saw it. We were fucking brilliant; we were better than we ever were. We were a great band. You stupid bastards, why couldn't you bury the past before it buried us?
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At the end of the credits, voices are heard of members of Strange Fruit playing the Bands-with-body-parts-in-their-name game. See more »
In the voice over which begins the film, Hughie(Billy Connolly), a roadie for the great 70's band Strange Fruit, said the reason lightning struck at a rock festival to stop Strange Fruit's set was that God was sick of 70's excess. Indeed, it's been popular to put down that era of music, and see punk as a welcome antidote to it. While I agree the excess was tiresome(as well as the misogynistic urges which came out of it), and like punk, I still am a fan of what is considered classic rock or glam rock, and this film about Strange Fruit's long, strange reunion is an affectionate tribute to those days.
One of the reasons the film works is the care of the people behind the scenes. Brian Gibson directed WHAT'S LOVE GOT TO DO WITH IT, about Tina Turner(while I had problems with the dramatic parts of the film, the music was handled very well), writers Dick Clement and Ian Le Frenais co-wrote THE COMMITMENTS and were behind the music-oriented British TV show OVER THE RAINBOW, and the songs Strange Fruit played were co-written by Foreigner's Mick Jones(not to be confused with The Clash's Mick Jones), so it was a meeting of people who knew what they were talking about. Also, two cast members are musicians in their own right(Bill Nye I don't know about, though the film credits him with his own singing, and he certainly looks like a lead singer of that era, while Jimmy Nail was in another British TV show which was music-oriented, though I forget the name, and he was in EVITA), and the others are convincing at it. And while, as I said, a lot of 70's bands like Strange Fruit behaved badly towards women, the movie doesn't make the same mistake(except for the woman who follows Timothy Spall around); as the manager of the reunion, Juliet Aubrey is quite good and plays a fully rounded character.
The other actors are all good as well, with special praise to Stephen Rea, who handles the more dramatic role well without sentimentality. There are a couple of plot points which don't work, but overall this is quite enjoyable. Oh yeah, and the music is good too.
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