This, along with Easy Rider, are Ian Brown's two favourite films ever.
Ian once watched Citizen Kane repeatedly at a Manchester cinema from 11am until past midnight, and can quote large chunks of dialogue from it. Orson Welles' non-linear narrative about greed, power, and loss, was the most technically innovative film to come out of the 1940s, and practically defined the modern method of filmmaking. Many critics have since claimed Citizen Kane to be the finest film ever made.
Easy Rider is a 1969 road movie, written by Peter Fonda, Dennis Hopper and Terry Southern. It was produced by Fonda and directed by Hopper. It tells the story of two young men, Wyatt (played by Fonda) and Billy (Hopper), who "went looking for America but couldn't find it anywhere." The film is seen as the embodiment of the hippie ideals and lifestyle of the 1960s counterculture.
Journalists reviewing the Roses' debut LP often cited The Byrds as the strongest formative element of their sound. Perhaps wary of being tagged with one specific sound, Ian would, at the time, refute this (whereas John has been more open in acknowledging this). The Byrds feature on the soundtrack of Ian's favourite ever film:
The "Stone cold wild / True nature child" rhyme on Daybreak has strong traces of Steppenwolf's Born to Be Wild: "Like a true nature's child / We were born, born to be wild."
Speaking to The Face in March 1995, John Squire states that he has watched this Oliver Stone film "four or five times.":
A couple of days after I arrive back in London, however, the phone rings and John's voice is on the line, agonisingly faint, but full of apologies. He still breaks off sentences to cough violently, but is much improved: he's been playing guitar to himself in his room ("some of the old songs, 'Waterfall', 'Adored', 'Resurrection'") and has now managed to watch Natural Born Killers "four or five times".
(John Squire speaking to The Face, March 1995)
Quentin Tarantino wrote the screenplay, which Stone, Richard Rutowski, and David Veloz extensively edited. Tarantino, unhappy with the rewritten version, publicly disowned the script and asked that his name be removed from the screenwriting credits. Despite Tarantino's objections, his name still appeared in the credits. The movie's intention was to highlight the sensationalised way that crimes are depicted in the media and the way killers are virtually regarded as cultural heroes; some failed to grasp the film's highly stylized critique of the media's glamorisation of violence, instead criticising the work for its excessively graphic and violent content.
Quadrophenia is a 1979 British film based on the 1973 album by The Who, starring Phil Daniels as a Mod named Jimmy. Set in London in 1964, Jimmy is a member of a Mod gang (well-dressed youths who ride Vespa and Lambretta scooters), who are always in conflict with Rockers, who in turn wear black leather and ride motorcycles. Disillusioned by his parents and a dead-end job in an advertising firm, Jimmy only finds an outlet for his teenage angst with his mod pals Dave, Chalky and Spider. A three-day bank holiday provides the excuse for the rivalry between the two gangs to come to a head, as they both descend upon the seaside town of Brighton. The film is a reflection of the punky, pre-Thatcherite Britain, documenting the amphetamine-fuelled narcissism of youth culture in the 1960s.
Ian already had an interest in scooters (through its association with Northern Soul) but John's interest blossomed when he saw this film, and, soon after, he assembled his own Lambretta. Mani first met Squire and Brown via an ad hoc network of early 80s Manchester scooter gangs, congregating to picket National Front demonstrations. The Stone Roses would meet The Who's Pete Townshend at their first ever gig, at Hampstead Moonlight in 1984 (Reni also performed with Townshend at this gig).
Ian Brown's 2007 LP, 'The World Is Yours' takes its name from Scarface, directed by Brian De Palma (so too does the third single from rapper Nas' debut LP, 'Illmatic'). Musically, parts of Ian's album bears the influence of Giorgio Moroder's soundtrack.
School for Scoundrels is a 1960 British comedy film inspired by the 'Gamesmanship' series of books by Stephen Potter. The main character, Henry Palfrey (Ian Carmichael), is a failure in sport and love, and victim of conmen. He enrols at the 'College of Lifemanship' in Yeovil, run by Professor Potter (Alastair Sim), who teaches him how to win in life and get the better of his rival, Raymond Delauney (Terry-Thomas), through various underhand, but not exactly dishonest, means. A John Squire artwork from 2008 takes its title from a speech at the beginning of this film.
Actually, he says, the song Fools Gold anticipated their future. "See, I wrote that based on that film The Treasure of the Sierra Madre, which tells a story of the music business and what man is and all the temptations that's put in front of him. These three guys who've got fuck all go prospecting for gold. They put a penny each in and get a spade and a sieve and after a while they've put so much graft in and they've had no sleep and they're filthy dirty and they're sleeping rough but each man's got a little bit of gold under his pillow, and then he thinks, 'Shit, that man's gonna come and try and rob my gold. Fuck, I better slit his throat in case he actually does. Actually, I might have his piece because I worked a bit harder than him. I was the one at the top of the mountain when he was only doing the cooking'. And that's how it becomes ..."
(Ian Brown speaking to The Guardian, 23rd September 2005)
This John Huston classic, starring Humphrey Bogart, is a story of greed, paranoia and betrayal among gold prospectors in Mexico. Two American down-and-outers (Humphrey Bogart and Tim Holt) in 1920s Mexico hook up with an old-timer (Walter Huston, the director's father) to prospect for gold; the old-timer accurately predicts trouble but is willing to go anyway.
This Leni Riefenstahl documentary and propaganda film, chronicling the 1934 Nazi Party Congress in Nuremberg, is referenced on the John Squire track, Marshall's House. The theme of the film is the return of Germany as a great power, with Hitler portrayed as a Messianic figure destined to bring glory to the nation. Riefenstahl's techniques, such as moving cameras, the use of telephoto lenses to create a distorted perspective, aerial photography, and revolutionary approach to the use of music and cinematography, have earned the film recognition as one of the greatest propaganda films in history.
This surrealist short film inspired the John Squire b-side, See You On The Other Side.
Primal Scream's 1997 Vanishing Point LP, the first to feature Mani, is named after and inspired by the 1971 film 'Vanishing Point', essentially Easy Rider on four wheels. A track from the album was named Kowalski, after the character from the film; the track also featured samples of Super Soul's "last American hero" speech from the film:
"It's always been a favourite of the band, we love the air of paranoia and speed-freak righteousness. It's impossible to get hold of now, which is great ! It's a pure underground film, rammed with claustrophobia."
(Bobby Gillespie speaking to the NME, 3rd May 1997)
The film is notable for its American Southwest scenery and its social commentary on the post-Woodstock mood in the United States. It was one of the earliest films (following on the example of Easy Rider), to feature a rock music soundtrack.
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