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Live Forever: The Rise And Fall Of Brit Pop

4.1 out of 5 stars 27 customer reviews

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(May 18, 2004)
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Editorial Reviews


Special Features


Product Details

  • Actors: Noel Gallagher, Liam Gallagher, Damon Albarn, Jarvis Cocker, Kevin Cummins
  • Directors: John Dower
  • Writers: John Dower
  • Producers: Jessica Ludgrove, John Battsek
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Color, NTSC
  • Language: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.78:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: R (Restricted)
  • Studio: Alchemy / Millennium
  • DVD Release Date: May 18, 2004
  • Run Time: 82 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (27 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B0001I2BUS
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #113,809 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Live Forever: The Rise And Fall Of Brit Pop" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: DVD
I watched a new to DVD documentary called "Live Forever" this weekend and it's entertaining as hell. Most of the interviews feature the big names of the era: Damon, Noel, Liam, Jarvis and other assorted talking heads and pundits.
In addition to the 90 min main film, there is a supplement with all the interview bits they didn't edit in, and that section has some priceless moments, especially from Liam. Two examples:
Interviewer: You've often been described as androgynous..
Liam: What's that mean?
I: You have a feminine quality...
Liam: What's that mean?
I: You have a look that's neither masculine or feminine exactly...
Liam: You mean I look like a bird?
and he goes on to explain that he does care about how his hair looks cuz that's important.
I: "Live Forever" has been mentioned as a song that cystalizes the mid 90s. What's that song about?
Liam: It's about living forever, innit?
Lots of good music and vintage footage, but overall a somewhat surface look despite getting all the main participants to agree to on camera interviews.
Worth at least renting.
I would also recommend John Harris' more insightful book about BritPop in the 90s called "The Last Party."
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Format: DVD
"Live Forever" takes a sleek, well-documented look at "Cool Britannia," the British pop movement of the 1990s that briefly filled the void left by the demise of Nirvana and provided a soundtrack for the new era of Tony Blair and the Labour Party.

Though the DVD box promises looks at great bands such as Radiohead, The Verve, Elastica, Massive Attack and Portishead, those groups are just name-checked. The movie is actually dominated by Oasis, Pulp and Blur, three of the era's most popular bands who flew high for a while, got bogged down by feuding and excess and eventually tanked out. My only quibble is that the movie pokes a stick into the old Blur/Oasis rivalry; the feud was a marketing gimmick but the movie lingers on it too long and structures its coverage so that Damon Albairn (who famously came out on the bottom) gets kicked while he's down.

Seemingly taking its cue from the Experience Music Project's excellent musical history "Rock and Roll," "Live Forever" offers well-negotiated & stylishly arranged interviews (check Noel Gallagher being questioned first in the study of a posh estate, then later in what appears to be a ship's cargo hold), period clips and also sends a cool, composed camera into the areas from which the music came -- the streets of Manchester, the highways of Bristol and carefully tended suburbs.

Though the movie scatters details in a somewhat disorienting way that almost demands a repeat viewing, the interviews and the music are excellent.
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Format: DVD
I was at university in Wales at about the time when this all took off and this DVD filled me with a warm nostalgic glow, with occasional goose bumps, remembering how vital the whole scene was. The Oasis and Blur duel really was an important national news story. People actually bothered to watch Top of the Pops every Thursday. British music and film seemed to matter internationally and was finally taking over from Nirvana-alikes like Stone Temple Pilots and Soundgarden. Whilst detailing the main players in the music scene, you also see how the whole Britpop phenomenon was tied up with the political paradigm shift in the mid-90s from Conservative to New Labour and Alistair Campbell's Machiavellian meddling.

One caveat, for "Britpop", read Blur, Oasis and Pulp, as no one else really gets a look in. Given that the whole documentary weighs in at a mere 86 minutes, maybe that's as wide ranging as you could make it. That said, I'd like to have heard other Blur members' takes on events, or even just more from Jarvis Cocker or (the lovely) Louise Wener . It would certainly have benefited from heavier editing of the ramblings of fashionista, Oswald Boeteng and that bloke from Loaded magazine. The Gallagher brothers both make riveting viewing, as ever, even if they can't stand to be in the same room these days- Noel waxes lyrical about his working-class roots from what looks like one of the more elegant rooms of Balmoral Castle.

For an acid take on how Britpop was already in decline by the time of the Vanity Fair cover I'd recommend Hugo Young's book, "How to Lose Friends and Alienate People". He was one of the people responsible for getting the unlikely cover stars to the photo shoot and is not shy in describing the monstrous, coke-fuelled egos involved.
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Format: DVD
I recommend "Live Forever" to the fans and the curious as the story of Britpop is documented from beginning to....not exactly THE end as the Blur/Oasis contest continues in the form of Who Is The Most Dull And Pretentious: Is it Insane Liam from Oasis lounging in the midst of what appears to be a secondhand furniture sale (or his living room) or Barely Awake Damon from Blur who plays the "I am SO over it" role to such extent he feels the need to strum a ukulele during the last half of his narcoleptic Q&A. woo hoo.
These interviews are from the NOW however THEN in America we were being smothered with bad indie and drama dummies such as Smashing Pumpkins and NIN so by the time US MTV got hold of Britpop it was with much hesitation and unattractively attached to the "Firestarter" video by Prodigy.
Yes, "Live Forever" is reliable without the fast sound bites or the know-nothing-all-knowing TV presenter.
The film details the hype, the clubs, drugs, BLAIR/Oasis, snapshots and NME covers in amazing, almost glorious montages then follows each segment with a less than intentional "come-down" as if reliving tragedy. Smile! It was fun! Right?
Many interviews conducted in dim settings and while Noel Gallagher is hilarious from a distance Jarvis Cocker of Pulp is poorly misrepresented as a near casualty when in fact Cocker is the most intelligent. How can Jarvis seem less witty than Noel Gallagher- leading me to ask "Who edited the last 20 minutes?" which is where the presentation falls apart. The problems are the uncertain end and not enough substance however many bland dialogues from Ozwald Boatneg (designer AND tailor) and Damien Hirst (he ruined Blur in just three and a half minutes). I can live (forever?
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