★★★★ | Pulp: A film about life, death and supermarkets
Gangly geek Jarvis Cocker is the most unlikely looking rock-star ever, but seeing the front man of the British indie-pop group PULP ignite frenzied crowds of a packed stadium, you realise that he is, in fact, one of the very best.
His quintessentially English band enjoyed enormous critical and commercial success in the late 1990s before calling it a day at the height of their fame in 2002. Cocker then went on to establish a new career as a solo artist and combined this with a weekly radio show and some filmmaking too.
Much to their many fans delight the band reformed in 2011/2012 for one more major tour of the US and the UK. The final performance was in their hometown of Sheffield, a working class industrial city well known for its droll Northern humor and where they have long been regarded as local heroes. This mutual love affair was clearly evident with Cocker and all the band members relishing with pride at being considered as such a major part of their community’s culture, as equally was the gushing praise from their diehard fans.
This documentary from German-born New Zealander Florian Habicht which he made with Cocker, is an affectionate look at both this last Concert and the city and its people who are such an integral part of the Pulp phenomenon. Habicht infuses the concert footage with some quirky talking-head pieces from some colourful and eccentric locals and even includes a middle-aged ladies choir belting out Pulp’s most famous hit ‘Uncommon People’ which is considered an anthem in this area. Cocker himself comes over as an extremely likeable funny man which is somewhat of a surprise given the rather dark lyrics of the songs that he pens and performs. In fact, his acute observations of everyday life, and also those of sexual frustration, account for a great deal of the band’s popularity.
This joyous wee tribute to this disarmingly charming man will totally delight not just his fans but also anyone who has any passion for British indie-rock. Although why Habicht insisting in calling it ‘A Film about Life, Death and Supermarkets’ is beyond me.