No Distance Left to Run (2010)

Sifted through my ever-growing Sky + backlog last night and decided to have a gander at the new Blur documentary, No Distance Left to Run, broadcast on BBC2 a few weeks back. In short, I was rather impressed.   The framing device for the film is last year’s reunion of the band for a short run of UK shows, commencing at the venue where they played their first gig and culminating in their triumphant appearance at Glastonbury. Interspersed with footage of the reconvened four-piece’s rehearsals, the gigs themselves and archive footage of the band in its youthful prime are candid interviews with Messrs Albarn, Coxon, James and Rowntree. Each talks engagingly about Blur’s origins, their faltering early years, their stellar success as figureheads of the Britpop movement and, most affectingly, their relationships with eachother.   What emerges is a touching portrait of four friends who somehow managed to survive the tumult and excess that accompanied being in one of the biggest bands of the 90s and emerge relatively intact, with a greater love and respect for eachother into the bargain.     Superbly shot and edited, No Distance Left to Run is essential viewing, and not just for Blur fans. Anyone who’s ever experienced the unique camaraderie, the pleasure and occasional pain of being in a band with their mates will find much to identify with here.  

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