Live Forever: The Rise And Fall Of Brit Pop

We’re celebrating Britpop Week here at Stereogum, and while there’s lots of essential listening that comes with such a pursuit, there’s not much in the way of essential viewing. There is, however, Live Forever: The Rise And Fall Of Brit Pop, the 2003 BBC documentary directed by John Dower. The film looks back at British culture in the early ’90s, the ways in which Britpop sprung from that culture, and the ways in which Britpop changed that culture (largely peaking with the 2007 election of Tony Blair). Britpop would probably benefit from a 16-part Ken Burns-style documentary, but Dower manages to capture a great deal of history in 80-odd minutes, owing to interviews with Sleeper’s Louise Wener, Massive Attack’s 3D, Oasis tribute band Wonderwall (not, sadly, Noasis), British journalist Toby Young (How To Lose Friends And Alienate People), and artist Damien Hirst (who also created the film’s theatrical poster, pictured above). But Live Forever is an essential document because of its extensive interviews with Damon Albarn, Jarvis Cocker, and Liam and Noel Gallagher, all of whom are in absolutely perfect form: hilarious, thoughtful, insightful, quotable. It’s a pretty addicting piece of film, filled with incredible music. I’ve watched it numerous times, mostly because I start it searching for some quote or another for something I’m writing, and then, I just can’t turn it off. Look, in all likelihood I’m gonna watch it again right now, and you should, too.

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Comments (5)
  1. You mean No Way Sis, not Noasis.

    • Yep, my bad. It was No Way Sis. God, the worst. Remember they did a cover of “I’d Like To Teach The World To Sing” or whatever that actually charted? The fact that there is a Noasis, too, though says … something.

  2. This is a really great movie. I had no idea it was on Youtube.

    Caution: after I saw this I caught myself for a while imitating Noel’s cadence when I was talking without meaning to.

  3. My favorite part is where they blame Robbie Williams for killing it all.

  4. I’ve owned this on DVD for like 10 years and have yet to grow sick of it. The extra interviews in the bonus features are killer too. I think my favorite quotes are when Noel proclaims their, “Souls are fundamentally more pure than” Blurs, and also when Jarvis talks about drug use…” No one ever says,’gee…he’s such a nice boy since he started taking all them drugs. He’s really blossomed’”.

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