By way of a slight return to this, how might the feature film fantasies of today’s pop elite manifest themselves on screen? Three cinematic smashes suggest themselves:
Viva La Vida
Written by David Hare
Directed by Danny Boyle
Starring Coldplay, Gwyneth Paltrow, David Bowie, Eddie Izzard, Ricky Gervais and Maureen Lipman
A mysterious stranger known only as Yellow (Chris Martin) returns to Britain after 20 years travelling the world. He discovers an amoral, apathetic society, kept docile and dumb-struck by an evil dictator called The Scientist (Bowie). Teaming up with various revolutionaries and radicals, including the bilingual twins X and Y (Izzard and Gervais) and a beautiful female assassin named Trouble (Paltrow), Yellow attempts to free the minds of every British citizen by voyaging around the country smuggling lugubrious ballads and bombastic stadium rock into unlikely locations, including Battersea Power Station, Blackpool Tower, Edinburgh Castle and the Tivoli Ballroom, Buckley. But will he persuade the exiled Queen Of All Humans (Lipman) to join his quest?
Back For Good
Written by Russell T Davies
From an original idea by Russell T Davies
Directed by Bob Spiers
Starring Take That, Adrian Edmonson, Alan Carr, Justin Lee Collins, Phil Collins, Catherine Tate and Graham Norton
A madcap 24 hours in the life of the nation’s favourite pop group. Follow the highs and lows of the new Fab Four as they fall foul of their wily manager Sid Fiddler (Edmondson), get double-crossed by a pair of odious tabloid reporters (Carr and Collins), have to put up with band member Mark’s cantankerous granddad (Phil Collins) and struggle to avoid the clutches of an obsessive fan known only as Patience (Tate) before performing a triumphant concert in front of some gays in a discotheque run by the peculiarly-named Francis Francis (Norton). Features guest appearances by David Tennant, Penn and Teller, Louise Wener and Lily Savage.
Written by Thom Yorke and Alan Bleasdale
Directed by Paul Greengrass
Starring Radiohead, John Simm, Robert Lindsay, Daniel Radcliffe, Little and Large and Lindsay Duncan
When a provincial town somewhere in the north of England decides to cede from the United Kingdom, a number of eccentrics, inventors and musicians led by Pablo Honey (Simm) use the opportunity to create a utopian society, only to see their efforts thwarted by the OK Computer, a fiendish masterbrain developed by a lunatic oligarch known as the Paranoid Android (Robert Lindsay) and his terrorist thugs, the Karma Police. Maybe the young firebrand Kid A (Radcliffe) can save the day and show that devolution and democratic socialism can co-exist with a globalised economy. Or will the populace be lulled into a stupor by the comic stylings of stand-up funnymen High and Dry (Little and Large)? And why does Mrs Amnesiac (Lindsay Duncan) keep taking her clothes off? Black comedy from the makers of The Bourne Ultimatum and Jake’s Progress.