Took in a little flick tonight as part of the 1st CBGB Festival. I know this because the CGBG logo was plastered everywhere. You know you can buy it on a t-shirt now?
Sunshine Cinemas hosted the first screening of The Rise and Fall of the Clash. Yes, it's a documentary of the only band that ever mattered. Since there have been other docs about the subject, most notably, the Julien Temple directed Joe Strummer: The Future Is Unwritten, this film, from first time filmmaker and Barcelona resident Danny Garcia, focuses more on the actual fall of The Clash rather then the popularity, importance or influence. The question, "How can one of the most popular and respected rock band fizzle out?" The period in question was when Mick Jones was sacked in 1983 and replaced by Nick Sheppard and Vince White. This lead to one of the most notorious disasters in 80s punk rock, Cut the Crap. The film mixed archival footage with new interviews with the Jones, White, Sheppard along with other characters in the band's history.
Even though my knowledge of the history of the band is limited (I'd rather focus on the music rather than ancillary trivia and facts), I got caught up with the major players. The villain of this soap opera was manager Bernard Rhodes. His military-like guidance and quest to create friction and drama to produce music was the driving force into band's demise. Obviously there were other factors -- creative tensions between Strummer and Jones, Topper Headon's drug addiction, becoming mega-successful in 1982. The film's strength is revealing and reinforcing hard truths about The Clash or any legendary bands -- selling out is inevitable, having many creative forces in band with lead to conflict and band have a short shelf life of existence. The Clash were officially together for 10 years, seven with Jones. Enjoy your favorite band while you can.
The film will be shopped around to other film festivals and art houses before being distributed on iTunes around October. My friends helped make and promote the film so I'm sworn to let you know when it's available or when it will shown in your area.
As a side note, Marky Ramone and his food truck was there. It was the real Marky Ramone and not Jon Wurster. Also in attendance, famed rock photographer Bob Gruen, who took the famed Lennon in a New York City t-shirt photo.
This is the trailer: