The Future Is Unwritten – Joe Strummer (DVD)

There have been a number of documentaries and similar types of material to choose from over the last few decades revolving around Joe Strummer, whether it be as a part of The Clash, of the punk genre generally, or of the last few years of eir life. However, no film really goes into the detail that “The Future Is Unwritten” goes. This is due to the fact that there are oodles of footage that Julien Temple was able to have released, on top of the interview footage that as originally collected for the documentary. The interviews are in my opinion the strongest piece of “The Future Is Unwritten”, specifically the fact that who Temple has talking are more than Sturmmer’s friends – there are individuals that have been influential to and influenced Joe Strummer that have their brains picked for this documentary.

The narrative that is present is also very strong, showing a side to Strummer that individuals may not already know. For example, did you know that Strummer had a white supremacist brother, or that that brother committed suicide? Beyond the narrative in the film, there are a number of bonus features that will give viewers the amount of material that they need to successfully link together all of the different parts and pieces of Joe Strummer’s life. There is a director’s commentary that is present through the documentary that gives viewers a sense of why exactly the film was crafted in such a way.

All told, there are nearly 4 hours of footage that viewers can go through to start to gain some sense of what the essence of Joe Strummer was, and how important the accomplishments of Strummer were in the creation of the current styles and types of music. If you have liked where The Future Is Unwritten has gone, I would wholeheartedly support the rental of Temple’s other films, which include “The Great Rock and Roll Swindle”, “Stones At The Max”, and “The Filth and the Fury”. Here’s to hoping that Temple will come forth in the next few years with a film that focuses on the life and times of other individuals that have been influential to punk and other types of music; perhaps there could be a Stiv Bators or G.G. Allin documentary in the works. Regardless, you know that I would be game, since the style of Temple’s filmmaking is that damn good.

Rating: 8.0/10

The Future Is Unwritten – Joe Strummer / 2008 Sony / 222 Minutes / http://www.sonybmg.com/ /

Author: James McQuiston

Ph.D. in Political Science, Kent State University.

I have been the editor at NeuFutur / neufutur.com since I was 15. Looking for new staff members all the time; email me if you are interested. Thanks!

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