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See this film: Joe Strummer - The Future Is Unwritten


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I saw this acclaimed Joe Strummer film last night (it's out on DVD too) at The Fox rep theatre in Toronto's Beaches district. Wow, what a great document of a complex music and social visionary. I feel Joe Strummer along with Bob Marley were two of the most important (and best) songwriters/artists of the latter part of the 20th century.

The Future Is Unwritten was directed by Julien Temple (The Great Rock & Roll Swindle) and most of the film was narrated by Joe himself; Temple uses audio clips and intersperses them throughout along with great concert footage, interviews (both new and archival) with bandmates Mick Jones, Topper Headon, Terry Chimes, Paul Simenon and some scenes with peers and fans like filmmaker Jim Jarmush, country maverick Joe Ely, old girfriends, his wife, members of his first band The 101'ers, Pirates of the Caribbean garbed Johnny Depp and of course: The Great Bono.

It's not a typical documentary, but that's hardly surprising given Temple's well-earned reputation. Along with two hours of looking at bad teeth, another disarming thing about the film is that Temple decided not to put names to faces, so we are kept guessing who the hell some of these people are, although I certainly recognized many, including a bloated Steve Jones. However, I think Strummer's friend and admirer Billy Bragg or even rock "spokesman" Pete Townshend and perhaps Markey or Tommy Ramone should have been in the film to offer their different perspectives.

Still, I walked out of the theatre with even more admiration for Joe, but at the same time, Temple accurately paints Strummer as tortured and often mean and selfish, yet as he got older, he became a truly humble soul that passionately believed in the potential salvation of humanity.

This video of "

" done by Joe Strummer & The Mescaleros basically sums up the essence of Strummer (and I've cried several times because of Joe's fucking emotional speech at the beginning).

View the film's website here: http://www.joestrummerthemovie.com/

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