STRANDED – TRAILER from Wildbear on Vimeo.

So it’s just our luck that as soon as a music documentary is produced that doesn’t feature the commentary of David Grohl or Henry Rollins, it turns out to be kinda crummy, anyway. Australia’s ABC debuted The Saints doc “Stranded” last week, and in the view of critic/author Clinton Walker, “it is a dog’s breakfast that manages to pull off the difficult feat of taking great material and making a meal of it, or worse still, missing the point altogether.”

The film that’s resulted is a wasted opportunity that to name just its most major failing spends large swathes of time on the generic treatment of a story everybody already knows anyway (the rise of punk in London and New York; it’s as if these film-makers have just found out about it!) at the expense of the unique story under its nose, which it’s still misleadingly pushing as its selling-point (the promo under that banner was accompanied by a photo of Bob Geldof!); it just serves as yet another unwanted extension of the old Australian cultural cringe, whereby we’re nothing without approval from overseas. And the film is full of stock library music! You’ve got to be kidding!! The list of crimes could go on… oh alright, I’ll name them: tons of irrelevant footage from 50s American horror films (doubtless because it’s free); factual errors all over the place; a complete lack of continuity and even then no dramatic dynamics; an overabundant voiceover so cliched it’s worthy of Paul Clark; minor characters getting major airtime (even more egregious when I could ask: Where’s Jim Dickson? Where’s Warwick Vere? Where’s Brad Shepherd? Where’s Mark Halstead?)