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A documentary on the once-promising American rock bands The Brian Jonestown Massacre and The Dandy Warhols, and the friendship/rivalry between their respective founders, Anton Newcombe and Courtney Taylor.
Ginger Baker looks back on his musical career with Cream and Blind Faith; his introduction to Fela Kuti; his self-destructive patterns and losses of fortune; and his current life inside a fortified South African compound.
Over a quarter of a century since it began and a decade after it folded, this is the definitive film about Creation Records, one of the world's most successful and colorful independent labels. This is the story of the rock n roll dream and its accompanying nightmares. Millions of sales on both sides of the Atlantic, near bankruptcy, pills, thrills, spats, prats, success, excess, pick me ups, breakdowns and of course some of THE defining music of the late 20th Century. This is the definitive and fully authorised story of the UK's most inspired and dissolute label, from the Jesus & Mary Chain at the Living Room to Oasis at Knebworth. Written by
It's often difficult to separate oneself from documentaries that cover one's own, halcyon experience. I remember watching and listening as the Creation records legend created itself and its romance is utterly compelling. Danny O'Connor blends everything at a consistent pitch of music, rosy reminiscence and very cunningly selected and edited footage.
The key moments - The Jesus And Mary Chain's Upside Down (providing the film's title), Screamadelica and the signing of Oasis - flow into one another with the inevitability of hindsight, but also with the blurred penumbra of drugged vision. So similarly the interviews are shot in yesteryear-black-and-white and the media flows across itself. However, just as the talking heads are older and cleaner so the audio-visual melange clarifies rather than muddies. It's classy.
Irrespective of anyone's investment, it is a great tale, tumescent with the romance of the greatest period in British popular music since the 1960s (it's also the final noteworthy period of music-making before the paradigm shift of the iPod and iTunes). A super film. 8/10
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