Combustible Celluloid
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With: Shane MacGowan, Johnny Depp, Gerry Adams, Siobhan MacGowan
Written by: Julien Temple
Directed by: Julien Temple
MPAA Rating: NR
Running Time: 124
Date: 12/04/2020

Crock of Gold: A Few Rounds with Shane MacGowan (2020)

3 1/2 Stars (out of 4)

Prose Poguetry

By Jeffrey M. Anderson

In the documentary Crock of Gold: A Few Rounds with Shane MacGowan, filmmaker Julien Temple (The Filth and the Fury, Joe Strummer: The Future Is Unwritten) turns his camera on Shane MacGowan, the leader of the great Irish punk/pop band The Pogues, who are best known today for their all-time great Christmas song "Fairytale of New York." Known as a legendary, bruisingly hard drinker, MacGowan is still going in his sixties, now in near-ruin, slumped in a wheelchair and sipping at pints. Rather than being interviewed for the camera, he speaks candidly with his close friends, including Johnny Depp, telling his stories. He began drinking as a child, discovered punk music, and found that the two went well together. His lyrics are often described as poetry, and he's an irascible interviewee; Temple lovingly combines his footage with archival material and plenty of music — with special favor given to "Fairytale" — to make a cautionary tale feel like a celebration.

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