Saturday, 26 July 2014

NZIFF Review - Pulp: A Film about Life, Death and Supermarkets

NZIFF Review - Pulp: A Film about Life, Death and Supermarkets


Florian Habicht's foray into the music doco genre is to be frank, a triumph.

Bookending with Common People at the Sheffield venue the band finished the tour in 2012 cleverly captures the essence and exuberance Pulp has brought to many through their energetic live shows and countless albums.

But it's the common touch and gentle humour that Habicht captures on the streets of Sheffield which serves him the best. Choosing a clever range of subjects from around the grim northern city best demonstrates both the English attitude as well as the devotion Cocker's clan inspires in all.

From the dance troupe to the harmony group, the kids who are given a chance to star in a movie to the old ladies who believe Cocker's dad is onetime warbler Joe, Florian displays once again an eye for the indomitable spirit and unflappable way the English have when given a chance to appear on screen.

But it's the warmth that propels this with Habicht's disarming technique once again rising to the fore. Cocker is not spared this approach either, whether it be filming him changing a tyre or showing his range of medical options that are at gigs in case something happens, each moment is constructed for maximum crowd pleasing effect.

However, scratch beneath that veneer and there's a hint of something more revealing; such as Cocker revealing that fame was like a bit allergy or keyboard player Candida Doyle fearing illness would cripple her chances of re-joining the band, there's something beneath the surface.

Habicht's eye for a shot never deserts him either; be it a beautiful slow mo shot of Cocker hurling toilet rolls from the stage with an impish grin or the mundanity of a news stand's billboard ( Fall woman broke every bone in her body) the canvas is richly decorated and wonderfully observed in this hash of concert footage and real life.

(One only hopes Habicht's captured all of the concert performance and intends to release it; it would make a perfect companion piece.)

All in all, Pulp: A Film about Life, Death and Supermarkets is a fusing of two masters; a genius fusion and meeting of like minds and possesses a joie de vivre that's undeniably essential.

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