Joe Strummer: The Future is Unwritten (Temple, 2007)

You really get a sense of how influential Joe Strummer really was and still is by the impressive group of talking heads lauding his career in Julien Temple’s far reaching documentary. Everyone from Bono to Jim Jarmusch to Johnny Depp speak eloquently and forcefully about The Clash front-man and his striking run in the late 1970’s and early 80’s as one of the first politically and socially conscious rock stars. Beautifully integrating found footage of The Clash on tour and audio tapes of a Strummer radio program produced a few years before his death in 2002, The Future is Unwritten attempts to paint a dynamic picture of an icon tortured by the contradictions of fame. At over two hours long, the film gets tediously repetitive toward the end, but the overall impact works as a kind of introduction/love poem to an important artist whose contribution can’t be measured in simple record sales. The smiles and tears of his friends and colleagues say it all.- Screened at the 2007 Temecula Valley Film and Music Festival

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