The Future is Unwritten

Joe Strummer
Joe Strummer

Joe Strummer is one of my great hero’s. This film by Julien Temple was made after Joe’s untimely death in December 2002.

Now I have to be honest, before you see this film you need to be aware of the musical work Joe did after he left The Clash, particularly you need to listen to everything ever recorded by Joe Strummer and the Mescaleros.

Joe’s work with The Clash was great and they became huge punk rock stars. Which is exactly what they didn’t want, and it messed Joe up for a long time.

He had a few years in the wilderness before recording new material with the Mescaleros. I must admit to loving the later music, it was punk still, but from a much more informed place.

Joe recorded his greatest album (in my opinion) just before he died.

Casual fans have found that after watching this film they liked Joe less, but the true tragedy of the film is that Joe had just found himself, and his peace before he died.

The Future is Unwritten, like all Julien Temple films is made with a great fondness for these punks by someone who has grown older and wiser with them. Below is a video of Joe singing with the Mescaleros.

So, 91 films to go!

Matthew Cooper has written for Emmerdale, Eastenders, Hollyoaks and Family Affairs. He was winner of the first ever Lloyds Bank Channel Four Film Challenge and the Oscar Moore Screenplay Prize. His first short film starred a then unknown Ewan McGregor and was picked up by Channel Four when Matthew was 19 years old. He’s been a script writer for hire and filmmaker for hire for over 20 years.