Live Forever is a film about a period in the Nineties when anything seemed possible. Britain was of a time, of a people, of a place, which captured the world?s imagination. A bright new culture deserved a bright new govern... more »ment. And it seemed, for a little while at least, that Britain had one. Live Forever is a story that builds to that moment in the Nineties when the politicians recognized the emergence of a vibrant British popular culture and seized it, guerrilla-fashion, to re-brand the country. In the mid-Nineties Britain was swinging again and Oasis? debut album Definitely Maybe captured the mood of the times; a swaggering and epic celebration of the joys of living purely for the moment. Along with Pulp and Blur, Oasis had kick-started an upsurge in home-grown musical talent. It heralded a new music scene, which became known as Britpop. But it wasn?t just the music. British galleries, catwalks and records were the envy of the rest of the world. British culture rocked and cool Britannia had arrived.« less
"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.""
Cool, sleek, engrossing and crammed with great music
Clare Quilty | a little pad in hawaii | 09/01/2004
(4 out of 5 stars)
""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."
For what it's worth
Diorella Grande | Pennsylvania | 03/16/2005
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Nicely packaged documentary not only about Brit pop, but 90's Britian period. The main focus is on Oasis & Blur, with some Jarivs/Pulp (but not nearly enough). Live Forever runs a little over an hour and also touches on politics, fashion, and art of the time. I had nearly forgotten about that horribly cheesey Vanity Fair cover with Liam and Patsy, but there it was--along with a flood of memories of the time."
It is as it was...
GW Fisher | Guadalajara, Mexico | 07/26/2004
(4 out of 5 stars)
"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.
I heartily recommend this to anyone with even a fleeting interest in Blur, Oasis or Pulp. It offers a fair amount of insight into the 90s British music scene and while it could be more thorough and take in more bands, it does cover a lot of ground in a short time. If you've never watched a UK documentary and have grown up with VH1's Behind the Music or even Michael Moore, then you should watch this just to see that you don't have to cram in 30 different camera angles per minute to keep viewers interested. A very tastefully-presented film peopled with interesting characters and with a top-notch soundtrack.
I thought this was a decent perspective and EXTREMELY entert
J. Kwan | A TALL BUILDING IN SAN FRANCISCO | 01/10/2006
(4 out of 5 stars)
"If you enjoy the music of Oasis, Blur, Pulp, the Verve, this DVD will be entertaining. Granted some of its theories revolving the BritPop movement seem overextended, it still provides a bit of entertainment. You might not agree with some of the theories, but its still worth a listen. Anyway, the DVD devotes a most of its time to the 3 biggest bands at the time : Oasis, Blur, and Pulp. (Well, I guess the Verve should also be included, but I doubt the reclusive Richard Ashcroft was willing to give an interview). The DVD is worth a go just for the great MUSIC, the hilarious (and on-the-spot) GALLAGHER Bros. interviews, and Jarvis' insight. BTW, Damon Albarn comes off as a real tool. Its also interesting that they interviewed two delusional members of an Oasis tribute band. I'm still baffled by that one. "