King Rocker (2020, Michael Cumming)

Hate-watched this Nightingales documentary on the plane, even though the Sparks doc was right there. Turns out this was made by a popular TV comedian named Stewart Lee, and half the movie (barely) covers the pre-Nightingales band The Prefects, then Nightingales mk I, then the hiatus and singer Robert Lloyd’s solo stuff, then Nightingales mk II. The other half is “hey everyone, it’s me, Stewart Lee, and I’m making this movie, look at me, making a movie.” He also laughs onscreen at his subjects’ quips even more than Scorsese did in Pretend It’s a City. Lee sits in a pub and gets Lloyd to tell a minor incident from his past career, then they repetitively, informally discuss the incident, then cut to someone else who was there at the time saying “oy, that’s not how I remember it,” repeat that formula ten times. Maybe five minutes of good music in the whole movie. Nightingales shared a member with The Fall, were heavily krautrock-inspired, went through a mid-80’s country phase – the band still seems worth checking out, too bad about the movie.

L-R: Pikachu, Lee, Lloyd:

“How do you want to be remembered? The film will leave a record of you.” Lloyd says his songs, which, yeah, are probably gonna outlast the doc. Unconfirmed whether Lee is wearing a GBV shirt in one scene, but I did spot a Waxahatchee poster. It’s perfect that Lee spends the whole movie comparing Lloyd to a King Kong statue that used to stand in the square, then when they track down the statue for an emotional finale, there’s rain on the camera lens. They cover Lloyd’s food writing gig, the fact that he makes more money from horse betting than from the band, and stage a table read of his mid-90’s failed TV pilot – I finally had to skip ahead during this part. When the closing credits hit I was writing down names of people who I’m mad at (turns out both directors have worked with Chris Morris), but the final scene under the credits was nice – a lipsynched music video, the only good scene.

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