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Seminal stories about rock bands and musicians who have helped shape late 20th century popular culture in the West are collated into a season of rockumentaries, mockumentaries and dramatised documentaries, all Off The Record, on World Movies every Tuesday in April and May. Channel Host Andrew L. Urban reports.

Of the nine feature length programs presented in Off The Record, seven are World Movies premieres; one of the nine is a mockumentary, and one is a dramatised documentary – but all nine are riveting television. The collection includes the most famous, like The Filth and The Fury or This Is Spinal Tap, as well as the more obscure, like If I Should Fall From Grace.

Festival Express (M) (Premiere)

Directed by: Bob Smeaton
UK/Netherlands, 2003
Screening date: 8.30pm, Tuesday 4 April
In the summer of 1970, a private train crossed Canada carrying some of the world's greatest rock bands. The Grateful Dead, Janis Joplin, The Band, Buddy Guy, and others lived and partied together for five days, stopping in cities along the way to play live gigs. The tour was a financial disaster, but it was the longest non-stop rock ’n rolling-stock party ever, as this now unearthed footage shows.

The Filth And The Fury (MA)
Directed by: Julian Temple
UK, 1999
Screening date: 8.30pm, Tuesday 11 April
Julian Temple's 20-year follow-up to 'The Great Rock And Roll Swindle.’ Surviving members of The Sex Pistols reflect on their rise, and spectacular fall. News stories, animation and long-unseen band footage are combined with candid interviews and reminiscences - with the band members in silhouette, a nice touch.

If I Should Fall From Grace (MA) (Premiere)
Directed by: Sarah Share
Ireland, 2001
Screening date: 8.30pm, Tuesday 18 April
Brutally honest, affectionate and true, the story of Shane McGowan – folk musician, possible genius and legendary alcoholic. Filmed over eight months, from the early days in Ireland and England, through his formation of - and later dismissal from - The Pogues, to his new band. Family, friends, and former band mates comment on the music, the rumours - and the alcohol. Did we mention the alcohol…?

This Is Spinal Tap (M) (Premiere)
Directed by: Rob Reiner
UK/USA, 1984
Screening date: 8.30pm, Tuesday 25 April
It really does go all the way up to 11! Iconic rock band Spinal Tap together with director Marti DiBergi combine big hair, big egos and big hits in this thrilling expose on the ugly beauty of rock ’n roll. Writer/star Christopher Guest’s debut as spooferstar…

Depeche Mode 101 (M) (Premiere)
Directed by: D.A Pennebaker, Chris Hegedus, David Dawkins
UK/USA, 1989
Screening date: 8.30pm, Tuesday 2 May
In 1988, a group of competition winners travels across the US to see their favourite Brit band, Depeche Mode, at the Rose Bowl in Pasadena. Rock doc veteran D.A Pennebaker’s insightful look at Depeche Mode’s 101st concert is at once an insight into life on the road, and a record into a particular time for the band and their fans.

Meeting People Is Easy (M) (Premiere)
Directed by: Grant Gee
UK, 1999
Screening date: 8.30pm, Tuesday 9 May
The film that will make you happy that you’re not a rock star! From Radiohead’s 1997-1998 world tour comes an unexpected and honest exploration of the phenomenon of fame, when a bunch of nice guys who make good music become unwilling superstars. “As much about a moment in time as it is about the music,” (Steve Kandell).

24 Hour Party People (MA)

Directed by: Michael Winterbottom
UK, 2002
Screening date: 8.30pm, Tuesday 16 May
From acclaimed and controversial director Michael Winterbottom comes an in-your-face, loud and rockin' docu-drama that celebrates the birth of rave culture in Manchester. A mix of re-enactments and real-life footage, with hilarious direct-to-camera anecdotes and genuinely moving moments. Nominated for the Palme d'Or at Cannes, this is how it really was.

Live Forever (M) (Premiere)

Directed by: John Dower
UK, 2003
Screening date: 8.30pm, Tuesday 23 May
The story of Cool Britannia in the 90s, and a celebration of an extraordinary time. Interviews and music clips from the most successful musical era in England’s history, including Blur, Oasis, Pulp, Massive Attack and more.

Metallica: Some Kind Of Monster (M) (Premiere)
Directed by: Joe Berlinger, Bruce Sinofsky
USA, 2004
Screening date: 8.30pm, Tuesday 30 May
It’s not what you think. Billed by Rolling Stone Magazine as “a thrashing, thrilling chunk of cinematic gold,” this is a rock doc that offers fascinating insight into the group dynamics and conflicted emotional relationships of the members of the most successful heavy metal band of all time. And it’s moving at times, how vulonerable these guys are. It will blow apart any preconceptions you may have about metal musos, except perhaps the one about them living to excess. But it’s only after coming back from the brink of self-extinction that the band rrrealllly cooks, which is when they hit the chart jackpot with St Anger, which made its debut at No 1 in 30 countries. Maintain the rage, indeed.

Published March 23, 2006

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Spinal Tap

Festival Express


The Filth and The Fury

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