Subject: I have found a DVD that I think you would enjoy
|Let's Rock Again|
Actors: Luke Bullen, Tymon Dogg, Dick Rude, Scott Shields, Martin Slattery
Director: Dick Rude
Genres: Music Video & Concerts, Documentary
Joe Strummer, the undisputed pioneer of punk and former front man for The Clash, is captured in this revealing and touching portrait. Dispelling the punk persona to reveal a die-hard performer who gives it all on-stage, th... more »
Sad but true -- great music
Flipper Campbell | Miami Florida | 07/01/2006
(4 out of 5 stars)
""Let's Rock Again!" tells the story of Joe Strummer, a man who ended up having to remind the world that "I was in the Clash." Dick Rude's film, shot in 2001 and 2002, followed the onetime punk star and his new band, the Mescaleros, as they toured the States and Japan. It covers the 18 months before the singer's death of a heart defect.
The film and DVD extras show Strummer signing endless autographs while listening to fans tell how he changed their lives. "Everybody's got a story to tell," Strummer explains. "You can't hurry them along." Rude calls his old friend "a born sweetheart."
Strummer took a decade off after the Clash went supernova. His young band was a hard sell, but the music was good and his shows made fans happy with "nuggets from the past." The main DVD extra is a treat: Strummer and the boys working through "The Harder They Come" and dub-era Clash songs like "Armagideon Time."
Director Rude did a 15-minute Q&A session at the Tribeca film festival, included here as an extra. He tells the audience it was "very difficult for me to cut this movie" after Strummer died.
Other extras have Strummer talking about his life on the road. "Performing is partly joy and partly terror, and you have to be able to deal with both emotions. It takes a lot of spirit to perform." One of the last extra clips has Strummer considering the death of another punk star, Joey Ramone: "It doesn't seems real. ... He was one of the best."
Images are full-screen; audio is in stereo. The presentation is good enough, despite some here-and-there synch problems."
Can you handle this truth about our HERO?
C. Traynor | Wayne, NJ USA | 08/29/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)
"A very brief review: If you both like and respect Joe Strummer ... if you realize that he invented his own mold and then broke it to remain utterly unique AND if you love wonderfully challenging music that still can kick you in the gut, THEN YOU NEED TO CLICK THAT "PURCHASE BUTTON" near the top of this page and bring "LET'S ROCK AGAIN!" into your home. Don't be fooled by the title - it takes on a whole new meaning when you hear Joe say it near the end of the film. One huge caveat for those who LOVE Mr. Strummer. As joyful as the music is and as enraptured as Joe seems when he's playing it with this amazing band of brothers that he's assembled, there is an underlying sadness to the film that you wish could be wiped away. This story was supposed to be a fairy tale; one with a happy ending where Joe is sitting on his porch at age 85 teaching London's new breed of punks what matters and what doesn't. Watching Joe dig and scratch for airtime by glad-handing dunderheaded button-pushing dj's seems tragic and backwards. They should be bowing before him and feverishly explaining how "The Call Up" changed their perspective on everything - but like I said, this isn't that fairy tale. Joe always knew it was all about the music and so he did his glad-handing with pride and dignity ... for the chance at one more go in the studio ... and another tour ... and another chance to joyfully blow out his voice in honor of THE TRUTH and all the working musicians who went before him. This film makes me miss him all the more - and in a weird and unfair way, that's good."
Go Ahead and Rock Again. This DVD Helps.
Connoisseur Rat | 01/30/2007
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Beginning with Tom Snyder's introduction of the Clash for their appearance on his Tomorrow show (how apropos), "Let's Rock Again" races (in two minutes and twenty-two seconds) through the rest of the Clash's history. I mean, it RACES - so fast the clips and the headlines are barely distinguishable and hardly legible. You would be forgiven if you found this annoying (especially if you're a Clash fan, as I am).
But then the film jumps all the way to October 1, 2002, at one of Joe Strummer's final gigs (this one in Tokyo, Japan) where we find him hobnobbing backstage with his new bandmates, the Mescaleros. And one of the first things we see Joe say in a sitdown interview is, "I think it's great to live in the moment and not think too much about the past - it can really drag you down"
Point taken, Joe! (and if you want a documentary about the Clash, get Westway to the World, and if you want to see the Clash on stage, get Rude Boy).
Coming off an "11 year break," we find Joe to be much as he always was: quite possibly the least pretentious and most down to earth person one could ever hope to find winding his way through this world. He talks as excitedly in this doc about breaking even with his latest album as he does in other docs relating his punk rock heyday.
It's both heartbreaking and inspiring to see him going to locked radio station doors and pleading his case to get his record played or handing out flyers to mostly apathetic passers-by on an Atlantic City boardwalk (even though the likes of Matt Dillon, Jim Jarmusch and Steve Buscemi show up backstage at his NYC show, and - one can assume - he didn't have to personally give them flyers). You know, you often hear the words "DIY or die" kicked around the punk/indie scene, but this great man was DIY until he died.
Ultimately, it's sad to see some of these scenes, knowing that our Joe had less than two months to live. And it's hard to watch this movie without still feeling the freshness of the loss. As director Dick Rude himself said in the excellent Q&A on the DVD: "I would trade this movie in a...New York second to have him back."
Unfortunately, I found the Q&A more interesting and emotional than the movie itself. But thankfully, the deleted scenes are oftentimes better than the ones that were chosen for the film proper. You get 42 minutes of extra scenes with Joe waxing lyrical about songwriting, performing, touring, the set list, the members of the band, 9/11, G-8 summit, running marathons, the state of punk today, you name it. So while I don't quite understand Dick Rude's choices regarding what made the finished film and what got cut, that's OK - because it's all here on the DVD.
And at this point, especially with Joe's untimely passing, we just have to be thankful for any lasting document we can have of him. As films go, this one isn't horrible. As bands go, the Mescaleros are quite good. And the DVD extras are outstanding. Thus, I give 2 stars to the film, 4 starts to the band, 5 stars to the extras, and 5 for the man himself: and that right there, my friends, is an average of 4 stars.
And just before the end of the film, Joe looks at the camera (and thus at us) and says, "My throat feels a bit rough, my legs are gone, but we're still in with a chance, so let's get it - let's rock again!"
And thanks to this DVD, you can do it again, and again, and again."
"I Had a Full Experience, From Hero to Zero": Simple and Str
Tsuyoshi | Kyoto, Japan | 09/08/2006
(4 out of 5 stars)
"`Let's Rock Again!' follows the live tour of Joe Strummer and the Mescaleros in America and Japan. The documentary film, directed by Joe Strummer's friend Dick Rude, is now an invaluable record of the energetic live performances of the band after the sudden death of Strummer on December 22, 2002, but the film is more attractive as the engaging portrait of this outspoken rock icon who knows the music and industry better than anyone.
After the brief introductory section in which we can see Joe Strummer as the frontman of legendary British punk band The Clash in the late 70s, the film jumps to the `present' day when Strummer in the backstage having fun with other members of his new band the Mescaleros. Between the live scenes of the band, the film shows Joe Strummer relaxed before the camera, casually talking with and hugging the fans who gather around him. Now well over 40 years-old, Strummer is still very cool dressed in black, and his charming personalities are easily telegraphed to us. He really cares when he talks with his fans even though the number of the audiences is reduced from thousands to hundreds since the days of the Clash.
Some parts may be a little painful to see. In one scene Joe Strummer visits a local radio station to promote his new album during the US tour, but as the door of the building is locked, he has to talk to the security office through the phone, telling the guy behind the machine that he used to be in the Clash. In Atlantic City you will be watching him handing the hand-written flyers to the passers-by, sometimes ignored.
It is not pathetic, but still a little shocking. Who could have imagined this back in the 80s? But Strummer, older and wiser, frankly admits that he had a full experience from hero to zero, and even confesses that because of his recent album the record company lost money. Whatever he says, we know Strummer is earnest, always doing the best he can do, and the songs you hear on stage are all powerful. (His Mescaleros songs are more dynamic when heard live.)
It is a must not only for The Clash fans but for any rock fans. Very simple with his frank words, and strong with his performance, and heart-breaking at times."