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IF I SHOULD FALL FROM GRACE: THE SHANE MACGOWAN STORY

Ireland, 2001 (MIFF 2002, Backbeat)

Director: Sarah Share

This poignant, performance-driven documentary provides the first real film insight into the life and loves of one of rock's true icons. Broadly, it's the story of a songwriter of extraordinary genius and the price he paid to articulate that vision.

Forever an outsider in London (he spent his first six years in Ireland), Shane MacGowan had a childhood of drugs, prescribed tranquilisers and admission to a mental hospital at 17. Identifying with the punk movement, he worked in a record shop and soon started his own band, The Nips (formally the Nipple Erectors - what else?). Formed in 1983, The Pogues caused a stir with monumental albums including Rum, Sodomy and the Lash (produced by Elvis Costello) and lf I Should Fall from Grace With God.

In frank interviews, MacGowan tells of his early problems with drink, drugs and subsequent breakdown (he confesses to acute anxiety whenever in London), his relationship with The Pogues and the inevitable causalities of that lifestyle. Interviews with musical luminaries including Nick Cave illuminate MacGowan's industrious career - as does judicious use of archive footage, video clips and live concert material.

Sarah Share began working in television production in 1988. At Bob Geldof's Planet Pictures, then later at Emdee Productions, she produced various arts and music docos with a focus on Irish culture. If I Should Fall From Grace is her directorial debut.

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