STILL CRAZY
1998, Sony Repertory, 97 min, UK, Dir: Brian Gibson

A classic "film that got away" - adored by the cognoscenti. Writers/producers Dick Clement & Ian La Frenais reinvigorate the familiar scenario of “aging rockers struggling with past glories and demons to make a comeback” - turning it into a glorious, hilarious paean to rock ’n’ roll camaraderie and ’70s excess tempered with sweet poignancy. Think SPINAL TAP meets MY FAVORITE YEAR through THE FULL MONTY as British hard-rock has-beens Strange Fruit - including Stephen Rea, Bruce Robinson and a magnificent Bill Nighy - etch realistic portraits of a middle-age rocker revival. Billy Connolly plays the Greek chorus as the band’s fatalistic, wise-cracking roadie. Spot-on songs by Foreigner’s Mick Jones and Squeeze’s Chris Difford.


THE COMMITMENTS
1991, 20th Century Fox, 117 min, Ireland, UK, USA, Dir: Alan Parker

Director Alan Parker (MIDNIGHT EXPRESS and THE WALL) teamed with veteran writing/producing duo Dick Clement & Ian La Frenais to turn Roddy Doyle’s brisk novella into a rollicking saga of mishap and achingly funny defeats snatched from the jaws of victory. A young hustling Dubliner shapes a ragtag bunch of miscreant Irish kids into a full-blown rock ’n’ soul revue despite their best efforts to self-destruct. The raw talent of the Irish performers - including Andrea Corr of The Corrs and Glen Hansard of The Swell Season - imbue Motown soul classics with Celtic heart. Their would-be manager explains the improbable collusion simply: "The Irish are the blacks of Europe. And Dubliners are the blacks of Ireland."


Syndicate content