Lost in FranceCultureCinemaMovie reviews
Lost in France is a uplifting insight into the rise of Glasgow’s alternative music scene in the 1990s, focusing in particular on the progression of independent cult record label Chemikal Underground. Through a mixture of hazy archive footage, interviews, live performances, press cuttings and tour photos, we learn about the label’s journey to success, and the much-loved indie bands who emerged from it.
Featuring members from Franz Ferdinand, Mogwai, Arab Strap, Bis, and The Delgados, the film documents a very sentimental journey for a particular group of musicians, as they retrace their steps to a small rural town in France, known as Mauron. In 1997, they performed together at a French music festival there, an experience that would become forever defining and special to them. Now, 18 years later, they return to the small French town, to relive the gig that bonded them together, and step back onto the stage once more.
Filled with anecdotes, self-reflections and amusing stories of alcohol-fuelled misadventures, the documentary has a personal and intimate feel to it, consisting of a lot of laughs, a lot of noise, and a lot of heart. Combined with its nostalgic alternative soundtrack and vibrant editing style, it gives a romanticised glimpse into a thriving era of music and creativity, as well as the emotions and perspectives of those who became a part of it. Being occasionally slow and a little rambling at times, it is not a work designed to appeal to everyone’s tastes. However, it adequately reflects the chaos of a time of youthfulness and change that is now being fondly recollected by those older, but not necessarily wiser.
Directed by Irish filmmaker Niall McCann, Lost in France will be screened at the Glasgow Film Festival 2017, with an added special performance from Alex Kapranos (Franz Ferdinand), Stuart Braithwaite (Mogwai), RM Hubbert, and Emma Pollock and Paul Savage (The Delgados), which will be broadcast live to cinemas across the UK, in a celebration of British music making.
Lost in France is released in selected cinemas on 17th February 2017.
Watch the trailer for Lost in France here: