2014 | 90 minutes | Rated NR
Just as Grant Gee focused on Manchester as much as the band in Joy Division, Florian Habicht does the same with Sheffield in Pulp. The city is, by all appearances, an unpretentious place with narrow streets and soot-smeared buildings (at times, it recalls the Glasgow of Jonathan Glazer’s Under the Skin). As a framing device, Habicht uses Pulp’s 2012 farewell concert. Though they stopped touring in 2002, frontman Jarvis Cocker felt that things ended on an anticlimactic note. Why not try it again with more fanfare? Habicht alternates between the band members and local citizens. A woman old enough to be Cocker’s mother sums up the reason she prefers Pulp to fellow Britpop practitioners Blur: “Better words.” Teen troupes dance to their music and middle-aged choristers sing their songs. There doesn’t appear to be much difference between the band and their neighbors. Says guitarist Mark Webber: "I’m just a regular guy. I catch the bus all the time.” Other observations are equally prosaic, but the scene in which a diner full of old people sing “Help the Aged” is simply transcendent. This is a lovely film about music and home—for some people, the two are indivisible.
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