Wednesday Double Feature – Rockumentary Mockumentary
For this week I decided to try for something in the way of a rockumentary… or more accurately mockumentarys like This is Spinal Tap or the Ruttles since i enjoy parodies. Unfortunately this didn’t go quite as I planned. Having seen most of the ones everyone talks about the remaining ones on my list turned out to not actually comedies more accurately dramas using the documentary style to tell the story and were only mildly funny… (either that or I didn’t get the joke.)
The first film I watched, Hard Core Logo is based on the novel of the same name by Micheal Turner and directed by Bruce McDonald and tells the story of the reunion tour of the Punk Band Hard Core Label after being brought back together at a anti-gun benefit inspired by the shooting of their mentor.
From there we follow them across Canada watching everything that go wrong, including the band’s schizophrenic bassist looses his meds, the guitarist missing the opportunity to join a more successful band. Gradually everything falls apart ending with the band falling apart and the temperamental lead singer shooting himself (after getting into a fight with the guitarist on stage.
While this film has it’s funny moments, it’s definitely more of a drama despite marketing suggesting it’s a Canadian version of Spinal Tap.
The next film on my list, 24 Hour Party People is a fanciful comic film telling the mostly true story of the Manchester music scene from 1975 to 1992. When news reporter Tony Wilson, played by Steve Coogan sits in on a Sex Pistols concert he is inspired to be part of the scene founding the record label Factory Records and the accompanying night club, the Hacienda.
From there come’s the history of what starts as Punk and becomes what will be known as the Manchester scene as well as the bands Tony supports, including Joy division (who become New Order after their lead singer’s suicide,) A Certain Ratio, The Durutti Column and Happy Mondays.
Factory Records is technically successful butl barely ever breaks even, finally falling apart. All of this is a romanticized version of the mostly true story with Tony as our narrator frequently breaking the fourth wall to tell us that something that we just saw on the screen didn’t actually happen.