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WHEN YOU’RE STRANGE: A FILM ABOUT THE DOORS

Director: TOM DICILLO

90 minutes| U.S.A.| 2009| Colour| D-Cinema


It’s taken almost 20 years for the surviving band members to deliver their riposte to Oliver Stone’s wacky acid-shaman biopic The Doors, but by opening up their archive to veteran indie director Tom DiCillo they’ve facilitated an authoritative portrait to delight devoted fans and a curious younger generation alike. As narrated by Johnny Depp – with a quizzical cool which lets you make your own mind up about leather-trousered front man Jim Morrison’s occasionally absurd antics – this is a fascinating collage, threading familiar late-’60s social history into a vivid account of The Doors’ musical rise, fall and rise again, as documented by their own cameras and others. Certainly, it was a gift to the future that these rock icons were former film students, allowing Morrison’s own spookily enigmatic self-shot footage to bookend a largely sympathetic view on their musical and cultural significance. To coin a Morrisonian phrase, weird scenes inside a goldmine . . . of performance footage and candid off-stage moments. (Notes by Trevor Johnston.)

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