As something of an amateur jones-ologist I was pleased when mrs carsmile booked us tickets to see Stoned at the london film festival, certainly more pleased than on leaving the cinema.
There are some good moments, and good performances (david morissey as t0m “the bastard” k3yl0ck, in particular), but also REALLY DREADFUL half hours. Stephen Woolley seems to have attempted to pull together all of the disparate theories regarding Jones’ death and though concentrating on the who killed christopher robin/the murder of brian jones hypothesis that “it was frank what done it, t0m says frank confessed on his deathbed” there are also sly little mentions for the paint it black theory about two (other) builders and a big party where t0m k3yl0ck was present.
But most of you don’t care about that (certainly mr k3yl0ck didn’t as he was sat a couple of rows away from us), you want to know about the filmy bits, the witty badinage ‘tween young groovy mick n keef n bri, how brian ran amock through the cheltenham streets siring children left, right and centre. Maybe even some recreated footage of rock and roll circus, or them on top of the pops. Not a cat in hell’s chance. Despite Woolley’s protestations that they didn’t WANT to include any rolling stones music because it was a film about brian, it was pretty clear that the Jagger/Richards behemoth told them to GO AWAY. The problem is, actually there are so many problems, we’d better have a list:
1. the story being told here is mainly about one builder turning on and fucking up after working for a past-his-best, manipulative, paranoid rock star for a handful of months. It is NOT the story of brian jones’ life, rather of his death.
2. they use FVCKING WHITE RABBIT by jefferson airplane for the scene when brian and anita first take acid, FOR FVCKS SAKE.
3. if you didn’t know anything about the genesis of the stones and why they were brian’s band and not mick and keef’s before you went in (which I’d argue most people under 35 don’t), you aren’t going to know much when you come out, his entire time in the band is covered in less time than it takes for the LSD montage mentioned above.
4. Vast swathes of the dialogue seem to have been ripped screaming from the aforementioned anna wholin book, which is a shame as it’s dreadful, like some sort of mills and boon sixties novel (groupie is better written)
5. Really pointless gay agenda.
6. Really really pointless nakedness and fvcking and, I think, subliminal goat sacrifice (no, me neither).
Gah, and that’s just the start of it. I don’t think I’ve seen a film this WRONG since “the beach” where I’ve sat and thought “argh! no! don’t do it like that! why have you forgotten that bit??” etcetc
It’s almost worth it for the charlie watts bits though…