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The Future Is Unwritten

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Frequently Bought Together

The Future Is Unwritten + The Clash - Westway to the World + The Clash: The Essential Clash
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Product Details

  • Actors: Joe Strummer
  • Directors: Julian Temple
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Anamorphic, Color, Dolby, HiFi Sound, NTSC, Surround Sound, THX, Widescreen
  • Language: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • Studio: Sony Legacy
  • DVD Release Date: July 8, 2008
  • Run Time: 120 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (39 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B0017WI5W0
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #24,234 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "The Future Is Unwritten" on IMDb

Special Features


Editorial Reviews

Product Description

As the frontman of The Clash from 1977 onwards, Joe Strummer changed people's lives forever. Four years after his death, his influence reaches out around the world, more strongly now than ever before. In acclaimed filmmaker Julien Temple's 'The Future Is Unwritten', Joe Strummer is revealed not just as a legend or a musician, but as a true communicator of our times. Drawing on both a shared punk history and the close personal friendship that developed during the last years of Joe Strummer's life, Julien Temple's film is a celebration of Joe Strummer--before, during, and after The Clash.

Julien Temple, one of the early documentarians of the London punk scene and director of the 2000 Sex Pistols film The Filth and the Fury, turns his attention now to that other seminal British band: The Clash--or more accurately, to the band's co-founder, lyricist, rhythm guitarist and lead singer, Joe Strummer. The Future is Unwritten is more than just a biography of Strummer; it is a tribute and exploration of a musician, artist and devoted humanist. Though Temple respects and admires Strummer (his influence is exalted by close friends, peers and fans like Bono and John Cusack), he doesn't romanticize this larger-than-life personality and presents Strummer honestly and not always in flattering light, though the director's fondness for his subject is constant. Most movingly, Strummer himself provides the narration via reassembled excerpts from a variety of interviews and the BBC radio show he hosted during the nineties. In the wrong hands, this could be contrived, but in this masterful documentary it serves as a testament to not just Joe Strummer the myth, but Joe Strummer the man, telling us his story in vivid detail. The Future is Unwritten is a moving and personal portrait of a musician who helped shaped not just punk, but modern music as a whole. --Kira Canny

Customer Reviews

This is a great film about Clash frontman Joe Strummer.
Highly recommended to fans of contemporary music and Joe Strummer and those that just enjoy a good documentary.
2 cents
It makes me want to jump out of my chair and dance just thinking about their music.

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

33 of 34 people found the following review helpful By Duncan's mommy on May 22, 2008
Format: DVD
There have been several movies made about Joe Strummer but Julien Temple's is unique in its personal touch. Temple was a friend of Strummer's for many years and so had insight into the man behind the music that many people did not have. The movie consists of Joe's life story as told by many friends, acquaintances, fellow artists and others who knew him or were influenced by him over the years. Amazing music, very well put-together, and just a great story about a man who was a huge influence on rock & roll and politics during his time on this earth. Joe was taken from the world too early when he died unexpectedly in December 2002 and after watching this movie one can only wonder what more he would have accomplished. The opening scene of Joe singing "White Riot" a capella in the studio is complemented by the closing scene of Joe and Mick Jones reuniting on stage 20+ years later to perform the same song...even though they were old (and Mick a little bald!) they still ROCKED. If you like the Clash, you must see this movie!!
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25 of 25 people found the following review helpful By punkviper on July 10, 2008
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
Amazing that it's been almost 6 years since his death. We all have our memories of Joe, and that collective, communal spirit is a major point in Julien Temple's documentary. You'll see dozens of folks interspersed throughout the piece, each giving remembrances around campfires. Interestingly, no one is identified via subtitle on screen, so you'll see everyone from Zander Schloss to Johnny Depp if you pay attention (doubtlessly part of the 1-world, human feeling the movie goes to great lengths to portray, from the best of us to the least of us we are all in this together.) The haunting quality of Joe's voice doing the primary voice-over narration for the entirety of the film is palpable. And fortunately Temple has unearthed scads of rare, quality footage including home movies, TV interviews, and even reel-to-reel from Joe's squatting days, which means we're not dealing with the same warmed-over Westway footage for the umpteenth time. The whole film is tremendously rich, crackling with energy & vitality, but also comfortable. This is the remembrance we've wanted (needed?) since the night he left, and for me it erases the bad taste of a dozen soulless cash-in "documentaries" that have been forced upon us over the intervening years. It's a fitting coda to Joe's life: not maudlin, not excessively mournful, not ridiculously celebratory. Just a bunch of folks sitting around relating what he meant to them, replete with ample historical context, with the man himself emceeing the procession. Joe meant a lot to a lot of people, he deserves this fitting (and very human) tribute.
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18 of 18 people found the following review helpful By Jan L. Collins on January 21, 2009
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
I can listen to Joe and be ok, but I have a hard time watching him in action since he's gone. We were friends for a long time. I conveniently missed it when it was in the theater, avoided purchasing it when it first came out, because I thought it would just be too heartbreaking to watch....but don't be a dope like me! IT's a wonderful film, my family and I watched it Christmas Eve. It's priceless to see home movies from when he was a kid, and see his parents. You see him as "Woody" and with his little girls, and just about every aspect of his personality, from the foulest of tempers, with due cause I might just how gentle he really was underneath all the angst. There's great concert footage, great interviews around the campfires, which was one of his things...People tend to think about Joe for the things he said, they don't always get that the best thing about him was the way he listened. I could talk about Joe till the cows come home, but I'll spare you all. If you're a Joe fan, or a Clash fan in general, you MUST have this film, IT is the quintessential Joe film. I've always enjoyed Mr. Temple's work, and with this, he's outdone himself, and I'd like to thank him for putting it out there for us.

You should also check out Dick Rude's film Let's Rock Again, it's an entirely different type of film, also very touching and a good record of Joe's work with the Mescalero's, and thanks to those guys for getting him out of the wilderness and back on stage, and to Dickie for getting it all down!
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Roland E. Zwick on October 25, 2009
Format: DVD
On December 22, 2002, at the ripe young age of 50, John Graham Mellor - better known as Joe Strummer, co-founder, lyricist, rhythm guitarist and lead singer for the group The Clash - died, rather prosaically, of a heart attack. I say "prosaically" because one would reasonably have envisioned a somewhat more "exotic" and "respectable" end for a punk rock artist of Joe Strummer`s caliber. Yet, perhaps it's not quite so strange after all, for like many of his musical contemporaries, Strummer lived his life in the fast lane, perhaps burning so intensely for such a brief period of time that his battered and overstretched heart simply couldn`t keep up with all the demands placed on it after awhile (actually, we`re told he suffered from a congenital heart condition of which he had no knowledge and which could have taken his life at any time).

Whatever the cause of his demise, the documentary "Joe Strummer: The Future is Unwritten" provides a compelling and really quite exhaustive look into the life and career of this punk music legend. The movie starts at the beginning with Mellor's birth in Ankara, Turkey, to a father who was a British diplomat and a mother who was a nurse. He had a generally unhappy childhood, being whisked from one country to another before eventually being deposited in a British boarding school, seeing very little of his parents during the seven year period in which they were living abroad.
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