This is a Public Service Announcement -- With Cartoons!

For a band as integral to music’s history as the Clash, it seems odd that few fans know much about it; a revelation that doesn’t strike until you’re watching Joe Strummer: The Future is Unwritten. The new documentary follows the famous Strummer (a name/persona he created in his twenties – his real name is John Melor) from boarding school, to art school, through a stint as a squatter busking for change, to his rise to stardom with the Clash, and his turbulent, though eventually prosperous, solo career.

Julien Temple (The Filth and the Fury) created the film and utilized his friendship and access with Strummer to compile an amazing collection of archival footage, including old video interviews, early gigs, family photographs, and most interesting of all, old cartoons and artwork that Strummer himself crafted. Temple layers the cartoons on top of interviews with Strummer’s friends and his early band recordings to give an intimate, if not haunting, storybook documentation of his life. But even after watching this film, created by one of his closest friends, you don’t feel as though you really know Strummer; he seems almost empty inside. When the Clash was formed (yes, it was put together by a manager like a punk rock boy band), Strummer instantly cut ties with all of his former friends and housemates. He stopped acknowledging them at clubs. You come to understand that nobody really knows Strummer, yet he’s loved desperately by all who’ve come in contact with him, from his pre-fame years to the following decades in which he established his fame. Consider it a mandatory watch for fans of the Clash and of rock bio/docs in general. Catch it today at 4 p.m. at the Lake Worth Playhouse (713 Lake Ave., Lake Worth). Tickets cost $6.
Mon., Dec. 3, 2007

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