Joe Strummer, the front man for the seminal 70’s punk band the Clash is a much more complex subject for fimmaker Julien Temple than his previous subject, the Sex Pistols. Joe Strummer: The Future is Unwritten searches for the truth about the musician who shifted from hippie to punk, then back to hippie. Actually, it was more like hippie, punk, raver, spiritual journeyman, hipster, beat poet, yob and so much more.
This film is constructed around a mass of archival footage and interviews, including some which Strummer shot before he died in December 2002, that is also full of high energy animations, and montages. The long (maybe too long) list of people interviewed included some of the coolest people alive – Steve Buscemi, John Cusack, Johnny Depp, Matt Dillon and Jim Jarmusch (Stummer was in his film Mystery Train). As a side note, Bono (who I hate with a passion) is also in it, and I am so sick of him being in every music documentary ever made. Many of the interviews are people just sitting around a fire talking about their memories of Joe Strummer. There are a few people noticeable by their absence, like Clash bassist Paul Simonon, the one person who was in the group from its inception to its break-up.
If you like Joe Strummer, you will love this film. If you don’t know anything about him, you will learn about one of the greatest mavericks of music.