The U2 frontman expresses his support for a new Joe Strummer documentary.
By Chris Lee, Times Staff Writer
Park City, Utah - WEARING his signature blue-tinted wraparounds and dressed in black leather against northern Utah's paralyzing chill, Bono made a surprise appearance at the Sundance Film Festival last week, expressly to support British director Julien Temple's new rock 'n' roll documentary, "Joe Strummer: The Future Is Unwritten."
In conversation directly after a screening, the U2 frontman lavished praise on Strummer, the charismatic, deeply humanistic yet personally conflicted singer-songwriter for the Clash. The Irish rock humanitarian credited Strummer, who died in 2002, with awakening his rock 'n' roll ambitions when he saw the Clash play in Dublin at age 17.
"They can't play, but they play better than anybody you ever heard," Bono said. "At the same time, there's this shambolic genius going on. There's just ideas being whispered into your head, mad ideas: that music can mean something, that it can be a reason to get out of bed in the morning.
"So can rock 'n' roll change the world? It certainly changed my world."
Moreover, Bono took the opportunity to point out the commonality of the do-it-yourself ethos in punk and indie moviemaking that was on display in Sundance.
"Here we are at Sundance," Bono said, "people are complaining, 'This is an independent festival. It's been taken over by market forces, etc. etc.' It's the same with punk rock! I personally find that interesting."
He added: "I will say, right smack in the middle of a contradiction isn't always a bad place to be."
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