Monday, 21 July 2008

Running Jumping & Standing Still

We all know about the Richard Lester's classic "A Hard Days Night" starring the Fab Four. I was musing however about bands that through their demeanor and personality as a collective would have been suitable candidates for feature films.

Now Lester captured the Beatle's mania in "A Hard Days Night" and also in "Help", other films featuring bands have been "Tougher than Leather" with RUN DMC, "Tommy" with The Who, and recently "Shine A Light" which was more rockumentary, along with the piss-takes "Bad News" and "Spinal Tap". The Rolling Stones would have appeared in A Clockwork Orange, and it would have been directed by Ken Russell, but never happened that way. Timothy Leary appeared in "We're All Devo" which was more a home video, and "The Great Rock 'N' Roll Swindle" was a strange effort on behalf of The Sex Pistols and Malcolm McLaren.

These days it doesn't seem as if bands have the purity of followers to be inspired enough to project themselves on the big screen. Either that or humility and modesty has sunken into the mindset of our musicians. I think there is still a genre here, regardless of the quantity of works made featuring bands.

Who I'd like to have made movies are as follows ...

The Leningrad Cowboys

The Leningrad Cowboys could have produced a Boratesque style film long ago, perhaps setting out to travel to the Kremlin on their Space Tractor encountering many odd and unusual scenarios on the way. Of course it would make more sense to stick them in the West, like the notable leads from "The Visitors", but these guys would make excellent casting for a rock feature especially if they included the Red Russian Army Choir as part of the soundtrack and narrative. The film could be called "So Happy Together". I think that Alexi Sayle would have been the perfect manager of the band. I'd bring in Alexander Sokurov to direct this one.


In the eighties it would have made complete sense to set these boys up in a feature film. Already they were appearing regularly on The Young Ones. I think that Michael Caine should play the band's manager in this film, but going by the name of Maurice Micklewhite. The title of the film? What about "Our House", so the plot would run something like Muppets in Space starting off as a share house with the Madness lads all sleeping on bunk beds and eating cooked breakfasts together, and then having to stop some evil villain, played by Peter Cook from executing some dastardly plan to rule the world or rewire Big Ben into a time machine where he goes back to London during The Black Plague and notifies the London Fire Brigade about the little hicup with the pan left frying some Black Pudding.

To direct this one, most definately Adrian Edmondson.


Having appeared in Leo Berkeley's "Holidays on the River Yarra", I reckon the lads from TISM could have graced the silver screen in their own brand of musical satire. This would have been the perfect opportunity for an early "The Chaser" style dogma film, and should certainly have Barry Humphries as their band manager. The plot? Well, it would have to be something involving contemporary culture, and maybe even a "stunt", something hype-art like, in the mode of what Tony Kay got up to until he began directing movies. The title of the film? "This is Serious Mum" of course!

The director would have to be Rolf de Heer, to bring that dogmatic Nordic know-how to the production.

The Beastie Boys

In the day The Beastie Boys could have made a neat flick perhaps titled "No Sleep Till Brooklyn", and it would have to follow along the Sabotage line of thinking, with lots of seventies style references, directed by Spike Jonze even, with a plot telling a story of The Beastie Boys coming out of retirement in Florida to stop a tyrant gangster rapper from ruling the Brooklyn scene. Absolutely Sacha Baron Cohen as Ali G in the role of band manager.

Well, that is it for me and this tangent on bands who could make good in feature films.

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