Oil City Confidential is a new film from director Julien Temple, previously responsible for The Filth and the Fury, about the Sex Pistols, and Joe Strummer: The Future Is Unwritten, focusing on Strummer and The Clash. This time round, in a kind of prequel to both those films, he tackles the life and turbulent times of Dr. Feelgood. Finding fame on the same Pub rock circuit (as remembered by writer and Kursaal Flyers drummer Will Birch) that also supported Ian Dury's Kilburn and the High Roads (not to mention Eddie and the Hot Rods and Joe Strummer's pre-Clash band The 101ers), Dr. Feelgood played stripped-down, taut and aggressive R&B. Hailing from the wildlands of Essex's Canvey Island – the "Oil City" of the film's title – Dr Feelgood were punk before punk really hit, a whirlwind of raucous energy, with a fierce work ethic. In Wilko Johnson, they had a guitarist with a scorching, slash and burn technique, while their singer, Lee Brilleaux (1989 interview), who died of cancer in 1994, aged just 41, oozed cheap-suited menace, and, into the bargain, helped found Stiff Records. [more inside]
Brando, Depp, the missing millions and Divine Rapture, the lost movie: "After settling into his rented Georgian mansion, Brando phoned [director] Eberhardt asking if they could meet at 11pm. "I said, 'No, Marlon, I'm too tired. I've been rehearsing all day.' Then he said, 'I'm going to shave my hair off and wear an orange wig'."" [more inside]
A few years ago, Gruff Rhys, lead singer of fabulous Welsh pop oddballs Super Furry Animals (Cymraeg/English) set out to make a film about the search for his uncle, a 1970s Argentinian pop star called René Griffiths. The result is Separado!: part travelogue, part music film, and part history of how a small band of idealists set out to establish a Welsh colony in the Argentinian part of Patagonia. [more inside]
The Lonesome Stranger: An All-Monkey Western!
I had come to Spain with some notion of writing newspaper articles, but I had joined the militia almost immediately
"I had come to Spain with some notion of writing newspaper articles, but I had joined the militia almost immediately." – George Orwell, writing about the revolutionary war which started 70 years ago yesterday: July 19th, 1936. Also: Anarchism and the Spanish Civil War. The Visual Front: Posters of The Spanish Civil War. Photos from the Spanish Civil War. Films from the CNT (National Confederation of Labour), 1936-1938.
Best laid schemes? Back in 1945 the Bruce Plan [click on images for video footage] was a radical proposal to knock down, and then rebuild, the Victorian centre of the city of Glasgow. The city’s slums* would be cleared; new towns* would be established; Glasgow would rise again, triumphant, once again the second city of the Empire*. In 1971*, there were grand visions of the Glasgow of the future; the Glasgow of tomorrow would be a bright, shining new city, and the Clyde* would once again be something to be proud of. A fascinating film archive of the Glasgow of the 20th century. *All links contain embedded video goodness.