Spurious but amusing documentary about Britpop
OPENS FEBRUARY 14, CERT 15, 82 MINS
Written and directed by John Dower, Live Forever revisits that collective moment of euphoria which culminated in the Blur-Oasis wars, Jarvis Cocker’s unlikely rise to fame and the election of Tony Blair. Featuring interviews with journalists, record company insiders and band members, it charts the ’90s British indie-pop scene from Stone Roses-mania onwards.
Live Forever is deeply flawed. It caricatures ’90s Britain as beset by deep-seated anti-Americanism. It neglects to accredit the economic boom in Britain, which fed the leery self-confidence of the Loaded/Evans/Gallagher years. It features S Club Juniors and Menswear but not Radiohead, The Manics or the Spice Girls, or indeed any black people, except, strangely, Ozwald Boateng.
It is, however, very funny. Jarvis is on top form, Damon Albarn is inadvertently amusing, but it’s Noel and Liam who’re at their most priceless and prickly, the latter especially when it’s put to him that he’s “androgynous”. Fortunately, the film-makers, with the adeptness of a Broomfield or Spheeris, solemnly milk these moments for their full comic worth.