Pulp: A Film About Life, Death And Supermarkets, film review

(12A) Florian Habicht, 91 mins Starring: Jarvis Cocker, Nick Banks, Candida Doyle, Steve Mackey, Mark Webber

Geoffrey Macnab
Friday 06 June 2014 00:13
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Jarvis Cocker in ‘Pulp: a Film about Life, Death and Supermarkets’
Jarvis Cocker in ‘Pulp: a Film about Life, Death and Supermarkets’

This is a refreshing antidote to the typical rock doc. Its focus is as much on Sheffield itself as it is on Jarvis Cocker and Pulp.

The film-makers speak to enthusiasts from the band's home city, the (almost) final stop on a reunion tour. Those appearing include school kids, old women, a newspaper vendor, a knife-maker and plenty of middle-aged women who used to lust after Cocker in the 1990s.

The vox-pop interviews, conducted everywhere from swimming-pool changing rooms to the local food market, are insightful and often surprisingly moving.

Cocker himself is wry and self-deprecating off stage – and a complete exhibitionist on it. At one point, he likens his own aversion to fame to a nut allergy: "It just didn't agree with me."

The film's oblique, offbeat approach – shots of Cocker laboriously changing a car tyre, footage of OAPs performing a Pulp song or a prolonged interview with a Pulp-loving single mum from Georgia – is in keeping with Pulp's music. As the band members point out, their songs were always firmly drawn from real life.

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