Donate Now to Support KDHX

Listen Live
Monday, 29 November 1999 19:00
November 30 through December 6, 2007
Reviewed by Diane Carson
Everyone into punk music knows the legendary Joe Strummer, best known for his years after 1976 as Clash guitarist and lead singer. But revered as Strummer is, few filmgoers want to see a film about him that follows tired patterns when Strummer endorsed anything but convention.
Perfect, then, for the job of documenting Strummer's unusual life and celebrated music is director Julien Temple who has crafted numerous music videos and homages: Bowie, Van Halen, Scissor Sisters, Luther Vandross, and, now, Strummer. What Temple does exceptionally well in Joe Strummer, The Future Is Unwritten is to provide political and cultural contexts for each of the decades and the music interpreting, commenting on them. And Temple does this by knitting together illustrative newsreel footage, clips from relevant films, concert footage, songs from other artists, amusing animation of the band, and interviews, most of them recorded at a huge beach bonfire. It's never dull.

Temple follows a chronological organization to keep the many elements clear, and so begins with Joe's early life, born Joe Mellors, 1950, and his diplomat father stationed to Turkey with his patient mother. What follows are comments on Joe's thoroughly unpleasant education at British boarding school, his counterculture involvement including living in abandoned London buildings, his reactionary brother's suicide, work at itinerant jobs, and his evolution as a musician from calling himself Woody to various groups and, eventually, the Clash. Noted individuals testify to the Clash's appeal: John Cusack, Bono, Martin Scorsese, Steve Buscemi, Johnny Depp, Matt Dillon, et. al. More importantly, we hear from the band's Terry Chimes, Mick Jones, and Nicky Headon.

Temple doesn't sugar coat the difficult times working and living with Joe, and Joe has his say through clips from candid commentary and formal interviews. As appropriate, the ideas considered, embraced and expressed by Strummer in personal and professional life get their due as well. Joe Strummer, The Future Is Unwritten runs just over two hours but never feels padded given the complexity of the times and this singular musician who illuminate and defined them. At Landmark's Tivoli Theatre through December 6th only.

Sponsor Message

Become a Sponsor

Find KDHX Online

KDHX on Instagram
KDHX on YouTube
KDHX on SoundCloud
KDHX on Facebook
KDHX on Twitter
KDHX on flickr

Local Artist Spotlight


The Mound City Slickers

Mon August 4

The Driftaways

Mon July 28
The Driftaways are a seven-man reggae band hailing from St. Louis. Their E.P. "Don't Hide" is full of high-energy jams and groovy improvisations that give the band's music a good-time vibe. Download their…

KDHX Recommends

August
Thursday
21

August
Friday
22

TOCO Family Festival

TOCO hosts its annual Family Festival at Jellystone Park in Eureka, featuring camping, live music, contests, family activities, art, food, vendors and much more. tocofestival.com


August
Saturday
23

Amelia White with Sergio Webb at Harvest Sessions 2014

Amelia White with Sergio Webb at Harvest Sessions 2014 Nashville, Tennessee-based songwriter Amelia White with guitarist Sergio Webb are this week's featured artists for Harvest Sessions. This free Saturday morning concert series takes place at the Tower Grove Farmers' Market,...


Online Users

1 user and 9696 guests online
Sign in with Facebook

SYSTEM: S5 Box

Login/My Account

Sign in with Facebook