The Stone Roses: Made Of Stone - Blu-ray Review

'Instead of giving us the subjects to evaluate in our own right, as suggested at various points during the setup, Meadows is as manipulative as the band and his film as cynical as their revival.'

For The Stone Roses fans, particularly those who were there to be The Stone Roses fans the first time around, The Stone Roses: Made Of Stone, will probably more than satisfy any craving you might have for a film about the band that crosses biography, modern re-imagining and gig film. Shane Meadows' film blends all of those elements, centring the narrative around the band's reformation in 2011/2012, to perform a series of gigs, having spent the previous fifteen years slinging variously vitriolic mud in each other's direction.

The fact that there is conflict in the background of Made Of Stone though, gives Meadows his main problem. This is a film that desperately wants everything to be OK. Meadows (clearly a fan) pines for a time when The Stone Roses were making great, original music and life was being lived exactly as it should be. His decision to shoot numerous scenes from 'today' in misty-eyed black and white speak to his desire to recapture a level of former glory, something which many people should have pointed out is more difficult than simply changing camera effects.

Meadows' blinkered vision of The Stone Roses as a force for the 21st Century reaches its peak when, in the middle of their world tour, drummer Mani walks off stage, avoiding the encore, leaving lead singer Ian Brown to walk out in front of those who want to adore him and proclaim his band mate a 'cunt'. Cut to Meadows, sitting in a hotel room, telling us that, owing to recent events, 'the last thing anyone wants is a camera ramming in their face'.

That admission, that Made Of Stone is a passion project rather than a journalistic one, undermines a lot of what Meadows presents. Instead of giving us the subjects to evaluate in our own right, as suggested at various points during the setup, Meadows is as manipulative as the band and his film as cynical as their revival. The Roses come off, by and large, as OK guys and their performances seem similarly positive but then, when you consider that Meadows removes his camera whenever things get testy, why wouldn't they? This is a puff piece, a film made to make The Stone Roses look good, on a comeback tour overtly for monetary gain, which was at times clearly an aggressive and hate-filled experience.

When you look back at Meadows' uncompromising filmography, you wonder quite where this approach came from. Was there not another film begging to be made here, a film which recognised its place in the middle of a raft of semi-unsavoury band reformations, cashing in on decades fans can never truly get back: could the undoubtedly great music of The Stone Roses survive that? Was there not something too about fandom itself, something about those who show up to a gig having walked out on their jobs to get tickets? The Stone Roses: Made Of Stone isn't that film and you don't have to go far to see under its surface to the commercialism Meadows' decision is endemic of: yes, the band put on a 'free' concert for fans in Warrington. The 'price' of admission? Show up on the gate with proof you had spent money on them previously. Everything is for sale, somehow.

By Sam Turner. Sam is editor of Film Intel, and can usually be found behind a keyboard with a cup of tea. He likes entertaining films and dislikes the other kind. He's on , Twitter and several places even he doesn't yet know about.

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