"There's no way out, no triumph of the will"

Mani wearing a Woody Allen t-shirt, Barcelona, 2012. Asked to explain the meaning of Elephant Stone, John Squire's quip ("Love and Death... War and Peace... Morecambe and Wise") leads with a Woody Allen / Leo Tolstoy tie-in. Woody Allen's 1975 film of this title (Love and Death) parodies various Russian novels (such as Tolstoy's War and Peace).

Apocalypse Now

Blade Runner

Citizen Kane

Title: Citizen Kane
Director: Orson Welles
Principal cast: Joseph Cotten, Dorothy Comingore, Ruth Warrick, Everett Sloane, George Coulouris, Ray Collins, Agnes Moorehead, Orson Welles
Year released: 1941
Related work: Ian Brown cites this as a favourite film.

Citizen Kane.

This, along with Easy Rider, are Ian Brown's two favourite films ever.

"I love that shot in Citizen Kane where it goes over the top of the roof and it's raining. Amazing. Blows your mind every time I see it." (Ian Brown speaking to Top of the Pops, August 2005)

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.

Citizen Kane

Easy Rider

Title: Easy Rider
Director: Dennis Hopper
Principal cast: Peter Fonda, Dennis Hopper, Jack Nicholson, Luke Askew, Karen Black, Toni Basil, Phil Spector
Year released: 1969
Related work: Ian Brown cites this as his favourite film ever; The Stone Roses, Going Down

Easy Rider

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."

Ian Brown and John Squire, with an Easy Rider poster in the background.


Natural Born Killers

Title: Natural Born Killers
Director: Oliver Stone
Principal cast: Woody Harrelson, Juliette Lewis, Robert Downey Jr., Tommy Lee Jones
Year released: 1994
Related work: John Squire watched this film numerous times while recovering from double pneumonia in early 1995.

Natural Born Killers.

Speaking to The Face in March 1995, John Squire states that he has watched this Oliver Stone film "four or five times.":

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.


On the Waterfront

Planet Of The Apes


Title: Quadrophenia
Director: Franc Roddam
Principal cast: Phil Daniels, Leslie Ash, Philip Davis, Mark Wingett, Sting
Year released: 1979
Related work: Ian and John's scooter interest.


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.

Cressa, Ian Brown and an exposed Dave Kartey (aka Kaiser, vocalist with The Waterfront) at a scooter rally in Morecambe Bay, 1983.

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).

Jimmy and Steph on a 1965 Lambretta LI150.


Title: Scarface
Director: Brian De Palma
Principal cast: Al Pacino, Steven Bauer, Michelle Pfeiffer, Mary Elizabeth Mastrantonio
Year released: 1983
Related work: Ian Brown's 'The World Is Yours' LP.


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.



Top: "Me, I want what's coming to me... The world Chico, and everything in it." Tony Montana descends into a cocaine-fuelled downward spiral.
Middle: In one scene, Montana looks into the sky and sees a blimp alit with the words, 'The World is Yours.'
Bottom: During the film's finale, Montana falls from the balcony into a small pool in the lobby below, beneath a statue carrying this very inscription.

School for Scoundrels

Title: School for Scoundrels
Director: Robert Hamer
Principal cast: Ian Carmichael, Terry-Thomas, Janette Scott, Alastair Sim
Year released: 1960
Related work: A John Squire artwork from 2008 takes its title from a lecture in this film.

School for Scoundrels.

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.


Left: 'The Pattern Was Set And The World Divided' (2008) by John Squire. This artwork takes its title from the beginning of term speech delivered by Professor Potter (Alastair Sim, right) in School for Scoundrels. This clip features in Episode 2 of the Adam Curtis documentary, The Trap: What Happened to Our Dream of Freedom.

The Treasure of the Sierra Madre

Title: The Treasure of the Sierra Madre
Director: John Huston
Principal cast: Humphrey Bogart, Walter Huston, Tim Holt, Alfonso Bedoya
Year released: 1948
Related work: The Stone Roses, Fool's Gold

The Treasure of the Sierra Madre.

You're weighing the gold, I'm watching you sinking...

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.

Triumph Of The Will

Title: Triumph Of The Will
Director: Leni Riefenstahl
Principal cast: Adolf Hitler, Hermann G÷ring
Year released: 1935
Related work: John Squire, Marshall's House

Triumph Of The Will.

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.

Un Chien Andalou

Title: Un Chien Andalou
Director: Luis Bu˝uel
Principal cast: Pierre Batcheff, Simone Mareuil, Luis Bu˝uel, Salvador Dali, Jaime Miravilles
Year released: 1928
Related work: John Squire, See You On The Other Side

Un Chien Andalou.

This surrealist short film inspired the John Squire b-side, See You On The Other Side.

Vanishing Point

Title: Vanishing Point
Director: Richard C. Sarafian
Principal cast: Barry Newman, Cleavon Little, Dean Jagger, Victoria Medlin
Year released: 1971
Related work: Primal Scream, Vanishing Point (also, a Stone Roses favourite).

Vanishing Point.

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:

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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