Flamboyant entertainer Ian Dury, backed by the Blockheads, takes to the stage, explaining to his audience how, as a child, he contracted polio from a swimming pool and attended a special needs school where he was bullied, particularly by orderly Hargreaves, a fact which shaped his tough and frequently iconoclastic approach to life, culminating in his controversial contribution to the Year of the Disabled. From his early days with Kilburn and the High Roads, playing seedy pubs with no dressing rooms Ian moves onto chart success with the Blockheads, collaborating with musician Chaz Jankel. His private life is complicated as, separated from the tolerant Betty with whom he remains friends but refuses to divorce for many years, he lives with the much younger Denise along with his adored son Baxter, who will himself become a performer. Ian dies in 2000, having packed an enormous amount of living into a comparatively short life. Written by
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Filmed around Egham and Watford between April-June 2009. See more »
In the Kilburns' pub gig towards the start of the film (in the early 70s), the drummer is playing Sabian cymbals (a Sabian logo is clearly visible when the audience start throwing toilet rolls). The Sabian cymbal company didn't exist until 1981. See more »
It's not the size of the dog in the fight, it's the size of the fight in the dog...
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Blows the typical Hollywood bio-pics (RAY, WALK THE LINE, etc. etc.) right out of the water. A career-defining performance from Andy Serkis...his BAFTA nomination was more than well-deserved. He literally inhabits this physically and emotionally demanding role. The film does not sugar-coat the fact the Dury was a hard man to be around. Superbly edited as well, combining graphics, animation, varying film-stocks and angles, B&W, flashbacks, and fantasy sequences (ever see a band perform UNDER water?). While this might sound like a mish-mash, it certainly reflects those same artistic elements and chaos of the times. Yet the movie never loses it's narrative thru-line. A must-see, even more so for those who remember.
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