The protagonist of Crock of Gold It has passed the age of 60, challenging all theories about what the body and mind are capable of holding without reaching final extinction. His name is Shane MacGowan and he was the leader, the singer and the soul of The Pogues. Its existence has been marked by excess, chaos, self-destruction and proximity to madness. Also for pleasure, vitalism, sex, music and some inalienable ideals. He has written very beautiful songs, hymns that have pleasantly accompanied the drunks at the closing of the bars. He also offered endless concerts, some of which feed the memory of his attendees.
At present its appearance is that of a spoil. Sentenced to life in a wheelchair, his voice is almost inaudible, his gestures are very paralyzed, he miraculously survives. But his memories remain intact, he does not regret the vertigo that accompanied him, he continues to drink a little and smoke a lot, he has not lost his sharpness or irreverence, he despises authority, he continues to proclaim that the IRA was as epic as it was necessary for Ireland, in its own way it remains genuine and free.
Director Julien Temple has moved throughout his career in the universe of music. Through films, documentaries and video clips. With better or worse fortune, but involved to the core in the world he describes. And in Crock of Gold he has accomplished an exciting job. I have seen it several times and I still enjoy it. Temple combines old documentaries on the history of Ireland and the London of the eighties, cartoons that gracefully illustrate the life of MacGowan, recordings that portray his past, old interviews and current conversations about the human and the divine between MacGowan and such juicy interlocutors. like the politician Gerry Adams, leader of Sinn Féin, and the actor Johnny Depp, companion of the soul and also of drinks and drugs of Mr. MacGowan.
Nothing is normal in the biography of this man. Alcoholic since he was six years old, yearning for an Ireland that he considered the lost paradise in an England that was hostile, angry, violent and camel to him in his adolescence, very early guest of asylums and rehabilitation clinics, fierce emblem of punk in his daily behavior, voracious and unrepentant user of all kinds of drugs despite having suffered their devastating effect, compulsive fucker, wild and extreme, full of magnetism when he got on stage. Very debatable in its volcanic convictions, transparent and secret, carnal to the point of brutality and also lyrical.
There are no dead times here. Things that deserve attention are happening all the time. You are infected with the vertigo that has invaded since he was a child to this singular person, foul-mouthed and excessive in all facets of his personality. Sometimes what has happened to him is scary, at other times he can move you, his causticity provokes laughter, his sincerity disarms you even if you do not agree with some of his opinions about people and things.
They tell me that MacGowan has caught a major rebound with Julien Temple by noting the way he has described his life. That no longer speaks to him. Very consistent in this ancient dynamite of the conventions. I think he and Temple have given each other a gift. And by the way, to the spectators. It is an essential documentary about a rabid unhappiness, about the militancy in the abyss of someone who deep down has never wanted to die, about the catharsis, the beauty and the temporarily healing power of music.