SHOT! The Psycho-Spiritual Mantra of Rock (2016) Poster

User Reviews

Review this title
4 Reviews
Sort by:
Filter by Rating:
8/10
Right Place, Right Time
kirbylee70-599-52617928 July 2017
Warning: Spoilers
Most people will have no clue who Mick Rock is. The name is not one on the tip of the tongue of most movie or rock fans. It may sound familiar but it doesn't belong to any musical genius, is not the name of a band and it isn't the name of a lead singer. But Mick Rock has been an influential member of the rock scenes since the seventies without most of us knowing it.

Rock is a star photographer, a man who was there when the careers of some began, most noticeably David Bowie, who captured what made the stars who they were. He created some of the most iconic rock album covers seen and many that will be remembered forever. But with the exception of those in the industry or die-hard fans who knows Mick Rock? That may change with this film. A combination of performed pieces and interviews with Rock mixed with images that he's taken over the years provide us with a historical perspective on a figure well deserving of fame for the photos he created. The film opens with Rock having a heart attack and being wheeled in to some spot lit examining room. Heart monitor beeping, oxygen mask in place, he talks about himself and what is happening, then drifting along into his personal history beginning with college.

Footage of Rock involves his speaking to the cameraman and director while rummaging through tons and tons of files he has retained over the years in what appears to be either a basement of warehouse room. We also see him on set, still lit by the spot light and talking about events in his life. These combine with stills taken by Rock and of him to tell his story.

Fresh from college Rock quite accidentally ends up using a camera to capture an up and coming glam rock star by the name of David Bowie. These pictures capture the energy of his performance, the essence of the glam rocker who would one day be dubbed the thin white duke. Becoming friends with Bowie led Rock to have the opportunity to take more photos of him and in turn other rock stars as well. Their friendship led him to know and become friends as well with Lou Reed.

In knowing these two men, in becoming friends with them, the doors opened for Rock to become the photographer of rock royalty. But friendship wouldn't be enough, he had a knack, he had an eye for composing some of the best pictures taken of various groups. The shadowy death masks seeming picture of Queen used on their third album was taken by Rock. So was the cover of Lou Reed's TRANSFORMER. Thin Lizzy, The Dead Boys, The Ramones, Iggy and the Stooges, Johnny Winter, Joan Jett. All of them had covers made from photos taken by Rock.

Of course as with most who fall into this circle of friends there was indulgences that they had on hand of which to partake. Rock developed a long standing addiction to cocaine while he was part of this group. It kept him going at the oddest of hours which were when the action was taking place. When others wondered how he could be in so many different places at the same time this was his answer. The coke kept him going non-stop.

But that sort of life takes its toll as well and eventually Rock found himself collapsed and rushed to the hospital. Several surgeries later he has become a survivor of the times. All of this was in large part due to his friends. When he had the attack he had no way of paying for help having spent all his money on drugs over the years. Two of those friends paid for his surgeries and for his rehabilitation.

The film is an interesting mix in how it tells his story and director Barney Clay does a tremendous job showing us the man behind the myth. The staged moments combined with still and cassette recordings Rock made of his discussions with both Bowie and Reed offer some insight into the man responsible for those photos we all grew up with on the fronts of record sleeves staged from one end of a record store to the other. It is an entertaining documentary whose focus led a life most of us will never experience. It also offers the hope of some salvation as Rock is still with us, still shooting photos and still has the ability to tell us of those days. For rock and film fans this is an enjoyable film.
5 out of 5 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
7/10
A must-see if you love rock and photography
dierregi15 August 2020
Mick Rock is a Cambridge-educated photographer who had the good luck of mixing with the thriving British rock scene of the early 70s.

His big break was knowing Cambridge-born Syd Barret, the almost mythical "crazy diamond", founding member of Pink Floyd. Rock is the author of the cover of Barret's one and only solo LP, The Madcap Laughs. That was also Rock's first cover in an era when LPs covers where an art in itself.

The descent of Barret into madness and reclusion might have caused Rock's career to take a downward turn, but luckily for him, he became Bowie's official photographer. At the top of the glam rock scene there was only one way for Mick Rock to go and that was up.

Bowie introduced him to Lou Reed and Iggy Pop and some of the most iconic LPs covers - such as Raw Power and Transformer - where thus born. On top of that, Rock shot thousands of concert photos, not only of the holy triad, but of the most famous musicians of the era, such as Marc Bolan, Roxy Music, New York Dolls, etc..

Rock transitioned smoothly to punk music with Blondie, Joan Jett and Talking Heads. During the documentary, Rock professes his admiration for the musicians, especially Bowie and Harris and admits that it was impossible to take a bad photo of Bowie or Debbie Harris, who were both amazingly photogenic.

However, living with the wild bunch meant that Rock picked up some bad habits. With his career in a limbo and half a lifetime of substance abuse, at the beginning of the 90s Rock suffered a nearly fatal heart attack.

The documentary is framed from the point of view of his comatose self, looking backward, which I did not particularly like and that's why I am giving it a 7, while the content is very interesting and would have deserved a better treatment.

PS and yes, Mick Rock IS is REAL name. Talk about a name, a destiny...
3 out of 4 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
10/10
OMG LOVE LOVE LOVE ROCK
2468motorway9 July 2019
So you love the holy trinity? Lou, Iggy, Bowie. Debbie? This is it. Forget the books. Lou hated those fakes. Nico. Jagger. They are all here. I mean what more do you want? THIS IS ROCK n ROLL. It really is. Enjoy this film and the times it represents. It is amazing and so is Mick Rock. Rock n roll animals all. The hour of the wolf. Thank you Mick.
3 out of 4 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
10/10
R.i.p mick rock a legend
hayleymuench15 April 2022
I watched this doc about 3 years ago, i had no idea who mich rock was and im asahmed to say so. I fell in love with him after this documentary. His career took off circling around the trio of bowie, iggy and lou.

Such a fascinating man. I was so hurt to hear of his passing this last year. Mick you will always be loved and missed very much. You left a HUGE impact on pop culture. Rock n roll wouldnt be what it is without you capturing every moment of it.
0 out of 0 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink

See also

Awards | FAQ | User Ratings | External Reviews | Metacritic Reviews


Recently Viewed