Friday, 16 January 2009

Pete Doherty in 24 Hours - EXCLUSIVE Preview

Went to watch a screening of the new MTV 'Pete Doherty in 24 hours' documentary last night, which was rather entertaining. I'm not one to buy into the 'Pete' celebrity fascination, though it's quite hard to avoid hearing about his alledged escapades in the press. But I do have an interest in how fantasy, enigma and romance are veiled upon personalities in the media - and with Pete's country manor, famous friends, enemies and drug problems, it can't he a hard job for them.

The film actually did a very good job of demystifying Mr Doherty, painting a picture of a shambolic life lived out by a rather charming man. Like when he suddenly comes across the letter box he's been searching for for weeks, and with it his unpaid rent bill, and an invitation from his neighbours to go horse rising. His reponse is to pull out a Lambert and Butler from an ever-present cumpled fag packet, and sit down at the first broken piano he finds to bash out some de-tuned melody. And it doesn't feel contrived. Perhaps a little sad, but we like him, not because he's a wreck, bot despite it. And it felt quite life affirming, in a strange way, that apart from a handful of great songs, it wasn't money, power or status that made everyone want to like him, it was just him being genuinely personable. Somehow this is more important to our society than all those other things, and I like it. Call me optimistic.

His manor was brilliant - like a mad old major's country pile meets a perpetual post-party mis en scene meets the fantasy house of a little boy who sleeps in a different room every night - over run by cats and wonderful little trinkets, from boxes of buttons to stuffed birds and old military legends, lost rooms and stumbled upon evidence of forgotten, drunken deeds.

He shows us his 'bed' - a hammock. "But I've only slept there once, I usually fall asleep in the chair" before adding, earnestly "it's much more than comfy than it looks, honestly".

Me and Guy had a good laugh at the Gio Gio designers (the premise, I perhaps should have said earlier, is that Pete's performing and modelling that evening for Gio Gio in Camden, though he's mostly unaware of this til the film crew arrive) - who all seem, for reasons unkown, to be big Mancs with big beards. Watch out for them if you catch the documentary - splendidly out of place, but entertaining none the less.

Fans of Pete will revel in seeing him talk candidly about past relationships and at the end being reuinted with Carl Barat on stage to sing 'Don't Look Back into the Sun', which gave even me, generally unmoved by the Libs, and a committed cynic, a slight emotional lurch in the gut.

There are of the course the obligatory MTV titles shoved into your face, alongside sound-of-now indie licks and funny angled montages (or was that the supply of free Becks?), reminding you of 24 hour countdown premise, I guess a neccesity. Despite this though, I was surprised to enjoy a picture of a gentle poet and artist, somehow at odds with the blood-paintings he shows us, meandering through the world, cartwheeling through fields, and yet swiching on grace and humanity as he hoovers the house in preperation for a visit from his mate the fashion show organiser, and then calls ex model girlfriends as a favour when Gio' Gio's are all double booked.

And there's not a spot of drug taking involved - not a trick of the editing the makers asured us. And I believe them.

So here's an exclusive preview into the doc, with Pete showing off his 13 or so cats. It's not profound, but it's fun.

The documentary is on MTV One on Sunday 25 Th Jan, 10pm.

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