Director: Shane Meadows
Channel 4 DVD
Look, I like The Stone Roses, I do. But I never needed to see this – and wish I hadn’t. Okay, okay, I like the band but I don’t love them. I never could get that special feeling that would make one a fan – owned the albums, sure. Even liked the second one. But, as I said here, I couldn’t be considered among the super-fans. I never bought (into) the frenzy.
Someone who did though is film director Shane Meadows. Hey, I have a similar thing going on with his work as with The Stone Roses – I like it, but can’t say I’m the biggest fan. I’ve appreciated his work (some of it) – perhaps he was perfectly suited then for this documentary, a match made in heaven, the perfect marriage for the English; two distinctly British cultural forces than can claim some level of success, of being underdogs or at least flying under the radar to begin with – and then boom: zeitgeist captured! Or, you know, whatever…
But what is certainly made clear by the film Made of Stone is that Meadows should not be allowed to film his heroes – he can’t tell the story. This is boring, overly long and made to feel twice the length it actually is. It’s actually excruciating to sit through, so concerned is Meadows with capturing the fan-point-of-view, the fan’s-eye-view, and all that is – in the end – is a load of breathless 40-somethings 50-somethings getting all nostalgic for that moment in time.
This is okay of course – part of any fan-made bio/doco – but when Meadows is handed documentary gold he shuns it. The band teeters toward breaking up mid-reunion and Meadows shuts the cameras off; goes one worse actually by putting his own ugly mug in the frame to announce the band doesn’t need cameras in their faces right now.
What a giant have. A dismal joke.
It’s all protected society fan-gush bullshit.
But given this film will be watched, primarily, by people with more than one copy of the band’s debut album – maybe even with his and hers versions, multiple his and hers versions too – you will hear elsewhere that this is some definitive document, some wonderful statement, some amazing story. It’s not – it’s the equivalent of buying the souvenir program when you’re at a show. Big production values, the promise of excitement, of a peak behind the scenes, but ultimately a waste of your time and money.
I felt insulted by this film. It made me dislike Meadows intensely. He blotted his copybook by being a gushing fan at a time when this band’s story deserved someone prepared to ask some interesting/difficult questions, to assess the anger, to poke at it, and not to turn the fucking camera off when given the gift of something resembling an interesting documentary thread.