Pulp: A Film About Life, Death and Supermarkets (2014)

 Pulp: A Film About Life, Death and Supermarkets (2014) movie poster

director Florian Habicht
viewed: 07/18/2016

Decidedly not a concert film, Pulp: A Film About Life, Death and Supermarkets is a documentary about the great Sheffield band, Pulp, their final concert on a reunion/farewell tour, their fans, influence, and hometown.  Like the band, the movie is a lot of things perhaps to a lot of people.  And while it might leave you wanting more Pulp, director Florian Habicht manages to create a portrait and a landscape at once.

As a document, it won’t give a viewer a definitive anything.  You get some music, live, some accompanying dancers, sung by a choral group, by people in a cafe.  You get some band history, flashes really.  You get some personality interviews, namely with lead singer Jarvis Cocker and other bandmates.  But with fans and locals as well.

I was living in Sheffield when Pulp’s signature album Different Class came out in 1995, and it was pretty clear that “Common People” was a classic from the day it was released.  What’s always been interesting about this band who hailed from the Northern city of Sheffield was that they existed for more than a dozen years before making a record that made them world-famous, and then vaguely miserable with said fame.

Cocker’s confessional storytelling lyrics have always grounded the band in their time and place, a uniqueness celebrated here in this odd, idiosyncratic film.  And even though with truncated performances and odd local interpretations of their music, I found myself liking the film.  Maybe it’s natural to be left wanting more.

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