Director: Anton Corbijn
This was a worldwide screening of the film in 750ish cinemas worldwide. This one was in central Auckland, New Zealand – the audience numbered about 40 and – gasp – there was even a smattering of young people.
The film tells the story of several people who have found the music important in their lives. D A Pennebaker’s film from 1988, 101, followed a similar path but in those simpler times the fans were a bunch of young people having a blast. This film has more depth. A middle aged French woman tells of losing her memory after a car accident when she was 25. After three days in a coma, she could not remember who she was or her family/friends. She had to learn how to speak from scratch, unable to communicate for a long time. Today, she still has no memory of her life before the accident. You know where this is leading, don’t you? Yes that’s right, ladies and gentlemen, she could perfectly recall (only) the music of Depeche Mode.
We see the French lady open her garage door and pootle away down a Parisian street on her scooter. This is made impossibly stylish by Corbijn – referencing his own Deoeche Mode history, as he filmed a similar scene with a young model in 1987’s Behind the Wheel clip,
Most people featured here have lines of pain and experience etched on their faces. None more than Depeche Mode themselves, who are now in their 60s. Despite the flamboyance of the live show – Christ they look old – particularly close up. To their credit, the energy of the show is intense – we can see how much the music means to the band and to people we now feel like we know. They are surrounded by another 40,000 people or so that have similar expressions of showing a temporary release of euphoria, “It’s the best church you’ll ever go to” says one. The crowd are not staring at their phones or chatting to their mates – everyone appears to be fully immersed.
The Mongolian fan and the Romanian fan make the same observation – they loved the feel of music years before they knew what the words meant. They attached the own, personal, significance to the words they heard.
I had moments of being swept away in the film. One crowd scene stands out – when they enact the impressive “wheat field” effect during Never Let Me Down Again, we can see a lone handwritten sign, held aloft. It says “Thank You”.
Might appeal to people who enjoyed:
101, The Posters Came from the Walls, Strange, Strange Too, Live in Hamburg, One Night in Paris, Some Great Videos.