Shot! The Psycho-Spiritual Mantra Of Rock

Watched: 10 September

Despite the wafty title, which almost seems to be offering the viewer a road-map to enlightenment or some other higher plane of existence via the medium of music, this is actually a fairly straightforward documentary in which the photographer Mick Rock looks back on his long career documenting musicians like David Bowie, Iggy Pop, Lou Reed, Debbie Harry and so on. Rock’s hard-living heyday was the 1970s, as you may have guessed from that brief and incomplete list, though judging by the glimpses we get of the terrible music videos he directed during the 1980s (for equally-terrible hair metal bands), a bit more focus on that decade might have made for a more unusual, more entertaining and more rounded portrait of an artist. At least he’s candid about such mis-steps, as well as other bill-paying commercial jobs he has taken on over the years. Throughout, Rock’s outward-looking professional gaze contrasts with his introspective discussion of a severe heart attack, though I’m not sure the floaty, dreamy reconstructions of his near-death experience add all that much to the overall piece; I’d rather just watch him discuss this, as opposed to watching a fake version of it with a voiceover. Anyway, I’m a sucker for a rock anecdote or ten, and there are some good ones here. (***)

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