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Live Forever [DVD]
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An in-depth look at the Britpop movement of the Nineties - through a mix of archive footage, live performances and never-seen-before interviews with major players.
It's hard to fill a music documentary with the same energy that ignited the movement, but Live Forever succeeds in charting the rise and decline of the Britpop genre with ease. Looking back on the 1990s phenomenon, it removes the rose-tinted spectacles that are so often donned for such retrospectives and looks at the trend and hype through a refreshing political perspective hinging around the New Labour government. It's fascinating to see how the spin doctors went to work on this new youth culture to increase popularity with voters.
It was a time of political change, when, after long Conservative rule, people were looking forward to the future, and Cool Britannia filled a cultural hole. There was bizarre art from the likes of Emin and Hurst, and a vibrant music scene filled with "jolly" Blur tunes and Pulp's off-kilter takes on the working class. But it was Oasis's meteoric rise and the simultaneous "Lad" cultural stereotype they embodied that really gripped the nation's youth (both male and female). Live Forever offers interviews with the Gallagher brothers (who actually come across as sound geezers), Damon Albarn (who fares less well, and it becomes clear where director John Dower's commitment lay in the big Britpop battle) and the sublime Jarvis Cocker (who really should have become more of a cultural icon). Although Britpop ended after a blitz of cigarettes and alcohol, its place is sealed in music history. Just as The Filth and the Fury has become the must-see documentary on punk, Live Forever may well become the defining film of the 90s generation. --Nikki Disney --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Top Customer Reviews
The main bands who were interviewed were Oasis (Noel and Liam Gallagher) and Blur (Damon Albarn), and the film focuses heavily on their much publicised rivalry. Other bands who were mentioned more briefly include Nirvana, and Pulp's Jarvis Cocker pops up frequently offering intelligent opinions. This is not a one sided documentary, and also touches upon how the New Labour party used Britpop to beef up their image and help Tony Blair rise to power.
Whilst 'Live Forever' isn't a definitive look back at the era, it completely neglects bands like Radiohead and The Verve (apart from a name check), it is still a very informative, but mostly funny portrait of the most exciting time in British music since The Beatles and The Stones. You have an awkward, but seemly brilliant social commenter Damon Albarn avoiding questions, Noel Gallagher being his usual hilarious self, and Liam, who appears to be genuinely puzzled at certain questions thrown at him - priceless!
The DVD's special features include longer, unseen interviews with the Gallaghers, Jarvis, and Damon, and a video diary featurette by the Oasis tribute band Wonderwall, including their performance at the London Premier.
'Live Forever' is a lot of fun, and I loved it.
I never watched a documentary that I had to watch again immediately. And again. And several times since then. Some might say, that it's not a full list. I don't think that it was ever meant to be. Personally, I would have liked more about The Prodigy and something about Radiohead (they are completely ignored), but I was happy with what I was given - a film, featuring most of the defining bands, characters and reliable sources about Britpop, done in a stylish, witty and entertaining manner.
Even if you don't like Britpop, Oasis or Blur (you still have to have a general curiosity about music in the UK), take a chance on this one, you will not regret it! It is a very rare item - a British film that is exciting and not trying too hard to be stylish, clever and important, while it is all of these things, naturally. A wondering star!
To their credit, they managed to secure some very high profile interviews (Liam, Noel, Damon and Jarvis), but all this film turns out to be is a glorified version of an "I Love the 1990s" documentary.
Thankfully, it is not the production team who come off as the biggest fools in this film. That accolade goes to Damon Albarn for acting so arrogant as to not want to discuss the Blur/Oasis rivalry - what did you think they would ask you about Damon?? Your new Gorillaz album?
Hopefully someone will come along a few years down the line and produce a more informed account of the wonderful Britpop years. But for now your best bet is to read "The Last Party" by John Harris, whilst having this film on as background music!
But Damon and Jarvis and Noel and Liam are creative artists and deserve a degree of indulgence. It's the pretentious, po-faced sycophants and hangers-on - drawling on about the Moment that was Brit Pop and how many lines of cocaine they did and how Noel once passed wind in their general direction - who make the thing almost unwatchable.
Cool Britannia. Thank god it's over.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
A pretty good documentary on all things Brit Pop. Worth seeing.Published 8 months ago by Chloe Plus
great dvd for the teenagers of today and for the ones who lived itPublished 24 months ago by K. Cleaver
The most insightful DVD of the music of my generation and the extras are good too. It covers most of my youth and the music scene at the timePublished on 20 April 2013 by bex
'Live Forever' is a documentary on the phenomenon/fad that was Britpop, when in the mid to late 1990's British Art, Music, Film and Politic's fused into the mainstream sweeping... Read morePublished on 25 May 2012 by Brawny Withed
Cracking documentary, great extras, superb interviews, altogether a very good dvd at an even better price. GO BUY IT MANPublished on 13 Jan. 2012 by Liam
Loved this DVD, detailing the battle of Brit Pop between Blur and Oasis, aswell as going into some detail about Pulp. Read morePublished on 17 Dec. 2011 by Matty