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Slideshow

CROCK OF GOLD: A FEW ROUNDS WITH SHANE MACGOWAN

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Premieres Friday, December 4

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DIRECTED BY JULIEN TEMPLE

As the blistering lead singer/songwriter of the Pogues, Shane MacGowan injected a raw punk snarl into traditional Irish folk music with 1980s albums like Red Roses for Me, Rum Sodomy & the Lash, and If I Should Fall from Grace with God. CROCK OF GOLD: A FEW ROUNDS WITH SHANE MACGOWAN is a first-person journey through the turbulent life of this inimitable, indomitable punk poet. Director Julien Temple (THE FILTH AND THE FURY, JOE STRUMMER: THE FUTURE IS UNWRITTEN) dramatizes British/Irish political history and MacGowan’s formative influences — including his first pint of Guinness, delivered by his aunt when he was 5 — through animation, rare archival footage and the singer’s own remembrances. MacGowan reflects on his youthful days spent in Ireland’s Tipperary (inspiration for the song, “The Broad Majestic Shannon”), his move to London, hitting the skids (“The Old Main Drag”), and composing a lush Christmas ballad (“Fairytale of New York”) that became not only the Pogues’ biggest hit, but the most popular UK holiday song of the 21st century. Intimate conversations with longtime friend Johnny Depp, controversial Irish political leader Gerry Adams, Primal Scream’s Bobby Gillespie, and MacGowan’s wife Victoria May Clarke illuminate the legacy of an artist “depicted here in terms more akin to the bardic outlaws and doomed martyrs of Celtic folklore than to any of his rock contemporaries.” – Stephen Dalton, The Hollywood Reporter

Presented with support from the Roy Lichtenstein Foundation Fund.

UK     2020     124 MINS.     MAGNOLIA PICTURES

Reviews

“TERRIFIC. In the upper echelon of recent rock docs. Makes a great, sober case for MacGowan as a real poet, an expat national statesman, and someone who might have changed ideas about how traditional music and rock can meld for all time.”
– Chris Willman, Variety

“A riotous piece of storytelling. The film’s prime achievement is to illuminate MacGowan as an Irish-born artist inspired by political history and cultural experience. And once those great Pogues songs are at last heard in all their glory, you understand the claims made for MacGowan as a modern bard — and grieve for the brevity of his brilliant, breakneck career.”
– Jonathan Romney, Screen International

“Fifty years of killer hangovers condensed into two hours, Crock of Gold chronicles the dramatic larger-than-life story of Shane MacGowan, the Anglo-Irish singer-songwriter who achieved international fame in the 1980s as self-destructive frontman of Celtic-punk band The Pogues. Veteran British director Julien Temple, best known for his forensically detailed music films rooted in the late 1970s London punk scene, plots a careful path between bleary-eyed bad-boy mythology and solid biographical reportage. The result is a richly researched, consistently entertaining documentary that should appeal beyond narrow fan circles. Crock of Gold is not the first screen profile of the ex-Pogues singer, but it is the most thorough and imaginative to date. Temple's signature maximalist style — layering contemporary interviews over archival material to create dense audiovisual collages of music and commentary, political and cultural history — is well-suited to a charismatic livewire like MacGowan.”
– Stephen Dalton, The Hollywood Reporter

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