Pulp: a Film About Life, Death & Supermarkets
Pulp found fame on the world stage in the 1990s with anthems including ‘Common People’ and ‘Disco 2000’. 25 years (and 10 million album sales) later, they return to Sheffield for their last UK concert. Giving a career-best performance exclusive to the film, the band members share their thoughts on fame, love, mortality — & car maintenance. Director Florian Habicht (Love Story) weaves together the band’s personal offerings with dream-like specially-staged tableaux featuring ordinary people recruited on the streets of Sheffield. Pulp is a music film like no other — by turns funny, moving, life-affirming & (occasionally) bewildering.
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★★★★ review by Matthew Buchanan on Letterboxd
Reminded me a little of LCD Soundsystem’s farewell film Shut Up and Play the Hits, but where that overdosed on concert footage at the expense of a more revealing peek behind the curtain, this finds a better balance and with it a lot more charm.
Both films focus on the shy but exuberant performer at the centre of their respective bands, as they examine their careers and the act of ending a great thing. Habicht’s superpower is his ability to find, and put at ease, the common people of Sheffield (and beyond) that Cocker sings about — they populate this film from start to finish, touching and hilarious vignettes that never cross into parody, nor overstay their welcome. From a director who had never shot a concert prior to this, his ability to combine the two is uncommonly good.
★★★★★ review by Gibnerd on Letterboxd
This is a fantastically unconventional portrait of one of Britpop's most unconventional groups. Instead of delivering the traditional music biopic formula, this movie paints a picture of the band through brief chats with the members recalling their feelings on their past and mostly through their hometown of Sheffield as Pulp prepares for one final concert. A wonderful film and a tribute to great band.
★★★★ review by Grimbo on Letterboxd
This premiered at the Sheffield Documentary Festival yesterday and was beamed to cinemas around the UK, so I caught it in Glasgow.
It is a documentary about UK indie legends Pulp's career and their last gig to date in their hometown of Sheffield.
To make it more interesting, it also focusing on some colorful local Sheffield folk. My favorite was the newspaper vendor who looked like Dungeon Master from Dungeons & Dragons.
It was magical to see Pulp songs live blasting out in a cinema. I really hope they do more gigs and from the Q&A after the film, it seems that is something that will happen down the line.
★★★½ review by Luis_989 on Letterboxd
Pulp is an institution and this is a great look into their roots and legacy.
★★★★ review by Lagerlout on Letterboxd
Common people are glorious people. This is the message of the wonderfully eccentric Pulp film. Part documentary, part concert film, all wonderful working class madness it is a love letter to the band and to the humble town of Sheffield. The people who live in the town are the real stars of the film, living their common lives, being the common people that Jarvis and his band sing so eloquently about.
And the band are still so common - a phrase which is said with so much love and warmth. Even leading man Jarvis Cocker, who seems like he would be mad with fame, is down to earth and real. His journey into his medicine cabinet is funny and real - just like you or me. With age has come wisdom which is hard won and clearly shown. This is a band who has been around the tracks, but instead of imploding they have thrived. They understand what it means to get support from their harshest critics and are beyond grateful.
Even if you don't know any Pulp records, it won't matter at all. The characters in Sheffield are enough to keep you engaged throughout and the band are interesting, thoughtful and just bloody lovely. For fans of Pulp, it's a great insight into a band who speak to so many. As far as music doccos go, it's one of the best.
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