Saturday, 14 August 2010

When You’re Strange: A Film About the Doors.

You can’t burn out if you’re not on fire’ narrator Johnny Depp’s announces. Jim Morrison was not just another rock star that crashed and burned and after seeing Tom DiCillo’s justly reverential documentary When You’re Strange (2009) you’re know why. Morrison was not only the singer in one of the all time great rock bands but a intelligent writer and a poet, a man with charisma, someone you can’t take your eyes off when he’s on screen. The bands first album was released in January 1968 and continued with the same line up until Jim’s death on 3rd July 1971 in Paris. I never had the privilege of seeing them live when they appeared at The Roundhouse in Chalk Farm in September 1968, but I did have one of the most memorable highs while listening to their albums, o’ great times……

The Doors were part of political soundtrack to the sixties and DiCillo includes not only fantastic footage of the bands performances but links it with archive newsreel of the time including the assassination of both Martin Luther King and Bobbie Kennedy, the student killings at Kent University and footage of Charlie Manson. This accurate portrayal of Morrison also includes excerpts of his 1969 experimental film HWY: An American Pastoral which is said to be based on his experiences as a hitchhiker during student days. The Doors are one of the most influential rock bands in history and thanks to Tom DiCillo documentary should rightly remain so.
Jim Morrisons Grave - Paris

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for your review Brian. I went with some friends - and all 4 of us fell in love with Jim Morrison all over again! I didn't realise the "car driving/hitchhiker bit" was actually him in the film he made - we all thought it was a modern bit added to the not very clear (or maybe we missed something that was said?). Anyway, we all enjoyed the film, in a bitter-sweet way, naturally.