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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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