FILM / Ryan Gilbey On Cinema

Has the MTV promo finally killed off the old phenomena of pop stars playing pop stars in the movies? Bands toil so hard to have those precious three minutes encapsulate their essence that the effort required to sustain a 90-minute feature would be tough to muster. The standards would need to be so much higher. When Elvis polished off 31 movies in 13 years, quality control was not on the agenda.

Although Jailhouse Rock was far from his best, Elvis looked comfortable in the rock star milieu. Cliff Richard found his feet too as a bongo wiz in the enduring Expresso Bongo. The torch was carried by the Beatles, co-habitating in a snazzy bachelor pad for Help], though Joe Orton cranked the heat a tad high in Up Against It, his unproduced Beatles script which had the boys sharing a girl, a bed and a Camberwell Carrot.

The Seventies got its fix - The Harder They Come, That'll Be The Day, Slade in Flame - but the Eighties coughed up It Couldn't Happen Here, Hearts of Fire and Purple Rain, all of them dogs. Pop stars are such capricious creatures - perhaps the safest bet is to let actors play them. The fine Ian Hart recently upstaged the pants off Stephen Dorff in Backbeat, but his first excursion as Lennon was in Christopher Munch's The Hours and Times. A short, sweet musing on the alleged romance between Lennon and Beatles manager Brian Epstein, it's a rare success in the tempestuous pop/film affair. Perhaps we're on a wild-goose chase: is it pop stars who should be playing actors? Morrissey as Dirk Bogarde; Bjork as Audrey Hepburn; Snoop Doggy Dogg as Sammy Davis Jnr. After all, it's time pop wreaked its revenge for Val Kilmer as Jim Morrison.

The Hours and Times: tonight, 8.30, NFT (See Independents).

(Photograph omitted)

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Life and Style
ebookNow available in paperback
ebooks
ebookA delicious collection of 50 meaty main courses
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

ES Rentals

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs General

    Recruitment Genius: IT Support Engineer

    £18000 - £22000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: The company provides IT support...

    Recruitment Genius: IT Manager

    £45000 - £55000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This manager is for a successfu...

    SThree: Trainee Recruitment Consultant

    £18000 - £23000 per annum + Uncapped Commission: SThree: As a Trainee Recruitm...

    SThree: Trainee Recruitment Consultant

    £13676.46 - £15864.28 per annum + Uncapped Commission: SThree: As a Trainee Re...

    Day In a Page

    Sepp Blatter resignation: The beginning of Fifa's long road to reform?

    Does Blatter's departure mean Fifa will automatically clean up its act?

    Don't bet on it, says Tom Peck
    Charles Kennedy: The baby of the House who grew into a Lib Dem giant

    The baby of the House who grew into a Lib Dem giant

    Charles Kennedy was consistently a man of the centre-left, dedicated to social justice, but was also a champion of liberty and an opponent of the nanny-state, says Baroness Williams
    Syria civil war: The harrowing testament of a five-year-old victim of this endless conflict

    The harrowing testament of a five-year-old victim of Syria's endless civil war

    Sahar Qanbar lost her mother and brother as civilians and government soldiers fought side by side after being surrounded by brutal Islamist fighters. Robert Fisk visited her
    The future of songwriting: How streaming is changing everything we know about making music

    The future of songwriting

    How streaming is changing everything we know about making music
    William Shemin and Henry Johnson: Jewish and black soldiers receive World War I Medal of Honor amid claims of discrimination

    Recognition at long last

    Jewish and black soldiers who fought in WWI finally receive medals after claims of discrimination
    Beating obesity: The new pacemaker which helps over-eaters

    Beating obesity

    The new pacemaker which helps over-eaters
    9 best women's festival waterproofs

    Ready for rain: 9 best women's festival waterproofs

    These are the macs to keep your denim dry and your hair frizz-free(ish)
    Cycling World Hour Record: Nervous Sir Bradley Wiggins ready for pain as he prepares to go distance

    Wiggins worried

    Nervous Sir Bradley ready for pain as he prepares to attempt cycling's World Hour Record
    Liverpool close in on Milner signing

    Liverpool close in on Milner signing

    Reds baulk at Christian Benteke £32.5m release clause
    On your feet! Spending at least two hours a day standing reduces the risk of heart attacks, cancer and diabetes, according to new research

    On your feet!

    Spending half the day standing 'reduces risk of heart attacks and cancer'
    With scores of surgeries closing, what hope is there for the David Cameron's promise of 5,000 more GPs and a 24/7 NHS?

    The big NHS question

    Why are there so few new GPs when so many want to study medicine?
    Big knickers are back: Thongs ain't what they used to be

    Thongs ain't what they used to be

    Big knickers are back
    Thurston Moore interview

    Thurston Moore interview

    On living in London, Sonic Youth and musical memoirs
    In full bloom

    In full bloom

    Floral print womenswear
    From leading man to Elephant Man, Bradley Cooper is terrific

    From leading man to Elephant Man

    Bradley Cooper is terrific