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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