2016 has been a grim year for the Gods of rock & roll. Indeed, Lemmy, Bowie and Prince all met the Reaper in quick succession. It’s been nearly 14 years, however, since punk’s greatest hero was taken from us, one John Graham Mellor—better known by his nom de guerre Joe Strummer.
A string of Clash/Strummer documentaries followed his 2002 passing. Most notable was Julien Temple’s powerful The Future is Unwritten in 2007, which featured appearances by the likes of Johnny Depp, John Cusack, Steve Buscemi and Bono.
But now The Clash get their own Sid & Nancy, of sorts. Derrick Borte’s London Town, which premiered this past weekend at the L.A. Film Festival, is set in the English capital in 1978 and follows a teenage boy (as played by Daniel Huttlestone) who goes on a quest to escape the bleakness of his life by seeing his punk heroes perform live. Natasha McElhone stars as his estranged but iconoclastic mom, Dougray Scott as his ailing father.
Jonathan Rhys Meyers, who was allegedly struggling with alcohol addiction and looking the worse for wear in a 2015 paparazzi shot, is resplendent and electrifying as Strummer in the film. In the first clip released, the celluloid Clash are seen tearing through the band’s anthemic classic “White Riot,” with the Irish actor exhibiting a convincing degree of punk fury.
The flick was snapped up by IFC during the festival for an undisclosed amount.