Home Entertainment Who Killed the KLF? review – Chris Atkins’ entertaining guide to true pop mavericks

Who Killed the KLF? review – Chris Atkins’ entertaining guide to true pop mavericks

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British film-maker Chris Atkins is understood for his glorious Bafta-winning documentary Taking Liberties in 2007 and likewise for his five-year jail sentence in 2016 for tax fraud involving falsified invoices: a conviction that despatched a there-but-for-grace-of-God shiver by means of the British movie world. It resulted in Atkins’s bestselling prison memoir A Little bit of a Stretch, which additionally turned a massively widespread podcast. On the time I wrote concerning the heavy-handed prison treatment of Atkins’s co-defendant, Christina Slater, who on the time was a brand new mom.

Now Atkins has stumble on the perfect topic for what I can solely describe as his expertise for investigative mischief: it’s the unusual story of the KLF, later the Ok Basis, comprising Invoice Drummond and Jimmy Cauty, the electronic-pop-duo-slash-situationist–art-collective who within the early 90s had gigantic chart hits with singles together with 3am Everlasting and What Time Is Love?, after which morphed right into a guerrilla unit pranking what they noticed because the money-crazed artwork world. They lastly deleted their complete catalogue in a spectacular gesture of renunciation, and publicly set fireplace to the remaining million kilos of their checking account.

Atkins reconstructs among the band’s occult occasions and theatre-of-the-absurd Man Debord one-offs; he interviews among the band’s gobsmacked contemporaries and followers comparable to journalist James Brown, writer Alan Moore and DJ Carl Cox, and claims that his audio interviews with Drummond and Cauty used listed below are “beforehand unheard tapes” – though we don’t get to learn how and the place these tapes surfaced. May Atkins be playfully hinting that these tapes and the band’s obvious non-cooperation together with his movie usually are not fairly what they appear?

Both manner, it’s a really entertaining information by means of what needs to be the strangest A-list pop profession of recent instances: a band who began bizarre and anti-materialistic, ended bizarre and anti-materialistic, and didn’t promote out. And as for the million-pound-blaze, Atkins does his finest to reconstruct the band’s considering. Most supposed the stunt to be both a pointless hoax or, if actual, an obscene waste, given all of the poverty on the earth, and the movie hints that the band themselves may simply have had the nagging doubt that they’d made a horrible mistake. It was a grand gesture which, to the extent that it was seen in any respect, was a misfire. But it surely was a misfire born of their absolute refusal to adapt to the careerist notion of success.

Really, this movie jogged my memory of Banksy’s 2010 documentary Exit By way of the Reward Store, through which the artist confirmed off his cardboard field filled with faked £10 notes with the face of Diana, Princess of Wales on them as an alternative of the Queen’s – forgeries that would in idea have gotten him into severe bother. You could possibly finish the movie questioning if the KLF even existed in any respect, in the event that they had been a dream or a countercultural mirage. If that’s the case, that is an gratifying journey throughout the floor of an phantasm.

Who Killed the KLF? is accessible now on digital platforms.

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