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Joe Strummer’s film-making debut: ‘Hell W10’
02.22.2013
12:36 pm

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Movies
Punk

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Hell W10


Strummer’s Hollywood glamour shot.
 
Back in 1983, Joe Strummer directed a short film called Hell W10. I wonder if Joe was tempted to call it The Clash By Night, a play on Fritz Lang’s noir classic. The film has the right look. With the participation of Mick Jones, Paul Simenon, Kosmo Vinyl, Pearl Harbour and various Clash crew members, Strummer had a bit of fun taking the piss out on himself and his comrades. Clash roadie Barry (The Baker) Auguste writes about the creation of Hell W10 with witty insight in an article for The Daily Swarm.  

Some three decades ago this month, the members of The Clash, those of us in their crew, and the band’s closest friends found themselves standing in the freezing cold of Ladbroke Grove, filming a movie entirely directed, conceived, and paid for by Joe Strummer. Hell W10 was a personal project for Joe, which initially plays like a simple, unpretentious home movie. But hidden beneath the surface of its archetypal cops-and-robbers plotline, Joe was cleverly caricaturing the true-life roles of everyone in the band, making the film a prime example of art imitating life. In truth, the “Last Gang in Town” was unknowingly having its last soirée, and that was clear from Hell W10, both in front of and behind the camera.” Barry Auguste.

Joe Strummer’s directing debut:
 

Posted by Marc Campbell | Leave a comment
Joe Strummer’s bizarre film ‘Hell W10’ starring The Clash, from 1983

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The Clash’s Joe Strummer wrote and directed this rather strange gangster filck, Hell W10, which stars fellow bandmates, Paul Simonon as Earl, and Mick Jones as kingpin gangster, Socrates. The film centers around a tale of rivalry and ambition, murder and violence, mixing the style of 1930’s gangster movies with 1980’s London. It’s a reminiscent of something Alex Cox might have made (who later directed Strummer in the punk spaghetti western Straight to Hell), and while the film self-consciously meanders, it holds interest, and is aided by a superb soundtrack from The Clash. Watch out for Strummer as a mustachioed cop.
 

 

Posted by Paul Gallagher | Leave a comment