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Laramie Movie Scope:
It's All Gone Pete Tong

A loud story of decline and ascent

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by Robert Roten, Film Critic
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March 8, 2006 -- This offbeat, original film about Frankie Wilde, a famous disc jockey, is a tale of decline and near annihilation, followed by a painful period of rehabilitation and redemption. It has one of the most graphic, scary, funny and imaginative depictions of drug addiction ever filmed. This British-Canadian film is loosely based on a true story. The script, by writer-director Michael Dowse, is based in part on Eric Banning's biographies of Frankie Wilde, including his book, “The Wilde Years.” Yet, the story is so bizarre, it seems impossible that it could have been based on fact.

Paul Kaye (“Match Point”) turns in a stunning performance as Frankie Wilde, a popular rave DJ and record producer who wises up only after he goes completely deaf. The film is a mixture of mockumentary, comedy, tragedy and love story that works brilliantly. Parts of the film are so grim they are hard to watch, other parts are very funny. In the end, it is genuinely moving.

The film is propelled by a brilliant performance by Paul Kaye as the main character and great cinematography by Balazs Bolygo of the club scene and exteriors. Another great performance in the film is turned in by Portugese actress Beatriz Batarda (“Alice”) who convincingly plays Penelope, a deaf woman who teaches the D.J. how to lip read. An extremely funny scene has Wilde trying to kill himself by strapping fireworks to his head and setting them off. There is also a hilarious and frightening depiction of drug addition featuring a giant, drooling, belligerent “coke badger.” Insightful comedy about the absurdities of the music business permeates the film.

The film was shot mainly on the island of Ibiza, one of the Balearic Islands off the southeast coast of Spain in the Mediterranean Sea. The island is known for its huge, popular clubs where enormous numbers of revelers gather to dance the night away. The film features many scenes shot in these clubs, as well as other scenes at a villa on the island. The scenes filmed in the club are very effective at capturing the frenzied chaotic atmosphere on the island where DJ's ply their trade and the parties never stop. Oh, yeah, and “It's All Gone Pete Tong” is British slang for it's all gone wrong. Pete Tong, a popular DJ in England, appears in the film as himself, and is a producer of the film. Other real-life DJ's also appear in the film, including Carl Cox, Tiesto, Paul Van Dyke and Lol Hammond. This film rates a B+.

Click here for links to places to buy or rent this movie in video and/or DVD format, or to buy the soundtrack, posters, books, even used videos, games, electronics and lots of other stuff. I suggest you shop at least two of these places before buying anything. Prices seem to vary continuously. For more information on this film, click on this link to The Internet Movie Database. Type in the name of the movie in the search box and press enter. You will be able to find background information on the film, the actors, and links to much more information.

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Copyright © 2006 Robert Roten. All rights reserved.
Reproduced with the permission of the copyright holder.
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Robert Roten can be reached via e-mail at my last name at lariat dot org. [Mailer button: image of letter and envelope]

(If you e-mail me with a question about this or any other movie or review, please mention the name of the movie you are asking the question about, otherwise I may have no way of knowing which film you are referring to)