Tuesday, 9 November 2010
When You're Strange: A Film About The Doors
"When You're Strange offers a mesmerizing, behind-the-music glimpse at a crucial and bizarre moment in rock history, and maybe in American cultural history, period." Salon.com
When You're Strange: A film about The Doors
"Essential for Doors fans, but enlightening to the uninitiated. A tantalising study of a troubled creator whose charisma still borders on the supernatural. Great music, too. " Empire Magazine
The Australian Centre for the Moving Image (ACMI) presents a Long Play season of, When You're Strange: A Film About the Doors (2010) the first feature documentary about The Doors directed by award winning writer/director Tom DiCillio and narrated by Johnny Depp.
Fresh from the International Film Festival circuit including Sundance, Berlin and London When You're Strange uncovers historic and previously unseen footage of the illustrious rock quartet and provides new insight into the revolutionary impact of its music and legacy.
The film reveals an intimate perspective on the creative chemistry between drummer John Densmore, guitarist Robby Krieger, keyboardist Ray Manzarek and singer Jim Morrison - four brilliant artists who made The Doors one of America's most iconic and influential rock bands.
Using footage shot between the band's 1965 formation and Morrison's 1971 death, When You're Strange follows the band from the corridors of UCLA's film school, where Manzarek and Morrison met, to the stages of sold-out arenas. DiCillo mixes the most pristine of studio, home movie, performance and archival footage - with an early student film work featuring Morrison as the central character.
The film explores the mythology surrounding The Doors a relatively short lived rock band and the charisma shown by its bad boy rock star front man who was part-poet and another part-seraph. The band proved an international cultural phenomenon selling 80 million albums world wide in their 8 years of existence from 1965 to 1971 that saw a generational shift of seismic proportions including the 60s Civil Rights Movement, the Vietnam War and the assassination of Robert Kennedy.
Johnny Depp said of the film, "Watching the hypnotic, hitherto unreleased footage of Jim, John, Ray and Robby, I felt like I experienced it all through their eyes. As a rock n' roll documentary, or any kind of documentary for that matter, it simply doesn't get any better than this. What an honour to have been involved. I am so proud of this as anything I have ever done."
"Whether you like them or not, it's hard to find a band that represents a moment in time like The Doors," rants ACMI Head of Film Programs Richard Sowada, "It's also hard to find music documentaries that go beyond rose-coloured-glasses and that look deeply into the minds of the players like this one does. There are so many intimate moments captured where Morrison and the band's gaze lock right onto the audience - it's almost creepy".
Propelled by The Doors' music and aided by Johnny Depp's understated narration, When You're Strange is equal parts reverence and revelation, paying perfect tribute to a blazing moment in pop cultural history.
When You're Strange: A Film About the Doors will screen Mon 27 December 2010 - Sunday 3 January 2011.
For more information and session times please visit: http://www.acmi.net.au/lp_when_you_are_strange.aspx
Tom DiCillo, 82 mins, USA, 2009, 35mm. Source: Madman Entertainment.
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