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Songs That Could Be Movies: Blur


We've got a feeling that one day, Hollywood will run out of books, comics and other films to adapt, and they'll turn to music, weaving movie trilogies from three-minute pop songs.

We've already decided which David Bowie tracks could be movies. 

Now we've turned our attention to Blur, fresh from their Glastonbury triumph, as they prepare to bring Britpop back to Hyde Park.

And if there are any studio executives in the audience tonight, making notes, we claim copyright on the following pitches...

Country House (1995)

 

Blur's first number-one single. It's rumoured to be about a legendary record executive Damon took a disliking to, but is probably more well known for being the song that put Blur and Oasis on the News At Ten.

The movie will ignore all that.

The Movie :

A sweeping costume drama, following the lives and loves of a group of aristocrats who live in a house, a very big house. In the country.

The central character, Raff, is an Oscar Wilde style wit, who spends all day elaborately insulting his friends.

But despite his confident exterior, Raff is lonely, and longs for companionship.

The Cast :

Stephen Fry as Raff, David Mitchell as Thomas, a young Lord who idolises Raff, but will never, ever be as good as him, no matter how hard he tries.

Sample Dialogue :

Raff: “I'm a professional cynic but my heart's not in it.”

 

Next: To The End

 

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To The End (1994)

 

Inspired by Damon Albarn's slowly-declining love affair with Justine Frischmann (a relationship that formed the spine of Blur ballards throughout the band's career) To The End is an epic romance of a song, perfect for a movie pitch.

The Movie :

This exciting French New Wave flick follows a couple of adolescent criminals, Jean-Louis and Christophe, who are on the run from the adults who don’t understand them.

But when the boys bump into teenage temptress Liina on their travels, they both fall in love with her, and their friendship starts to fall apart… leading to an emotional and bloody conclusion.

The Cast :

Only the hottest Gallic talent for this one - Laura Neiva as Liina, Cauã Reymond as Jean-Louis and Robert Pattinson in a beret as Christoph. We’ve got to get bums on seats somehow.

Sample Dialogue :

Christoph: “What happened to us? Soon it will be gone forever!”

 

Next: No Distance Left To Run

 

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No Distance Left To Run (1999)

 

If To The End is a song about the slow-death of a relationship, No Distance Left To Run is the post-mortem.

An emotion-wrenching deconstruction of Albarn's depression following his split with Frischmann, No Distance Left To Run is one of the most heart-felt break-up songs ever recorded.

So let's make a sentimental kitchen-sink drama out of it.

The Movie :

Colin Zeal is a retired long distance runner living out his final days in an old people’s home, reminiscing about his glory years.

But when he hears about a local fun run, he decides to take part, much against the wishes of his family and the care workers who look after him.

Will Colin win the race, or, more importantly, will he survive it?

The Cast :

Michael Caine as Colin, Gerard Butler as his angry son, with Judi Dench as the lone nurse who believes in him. Ken Loach directs.

Sample Dialogue :

During an argument with his son, who is ordering his father to not take part in the fun run, Colin calmly says:

Colin: “Please turn your back and walk away.”

 

Next: Bugman

 

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Bugman (1999)

 

 

Damon Albarn has said the Bugman is a paedophile trying to go straight. We'll take him at his word, and give the subject the Hollywood treatment...

The Movie :

When gruesome paedophile Barry Skaargle is murdered and dumped in a swamp by his victims, they think they’re safe…

But when the teenagers start dying one-by-one in insect-related deaths (burnt by a massive magnifying glass, arms pulled off like wings, crushed into paste by huge newspapers), they realise that Skaaargle has returned from the dead. As the Bugman!

The Cast: Hayden Panettiere is the biggest star in this thing.

Sample Dialogue
:

The Bugman starts advancing on Jake, muttering under his rancid breath.


Bugman: “I am an ex offender. They let me out in the summer.”

Jake’s girlfriend Karly spots the creature looming up behind Jake, cockroaches and worms falling from his body. She screams.

Karly: “Look out for the Bugman!”

But Jake doesn’t hear her properly.

Jake: “Hang on…”

Karly’s shaking with fear, and tries to warn Jake again.

Karly: “The bu uh uh ug man!”

 

Next: I'm Just A Killer For Your Love

 

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I’m Just A Killer For Your Love (1997)

 

Albarn once claimed that this one is about the AIDS crisis, we believe him, but we think we'll go down a different route...

The Movie :

Two serial killers, one male, one female, meet by chance in a bar, and fall in love.

But they’re separated before they can exchange numbers when the police burst in and they both assume they're there to arrest them.

Unable to stop thinking about each other, they separately decide to stage a series of elaborate murders that double as clues to their location.

The male murderer, Dan Abnormal, slaughters groups of people to represent the individual numbers in his mobile number.

So, first he tortures a group of people, but kills none of them (0), then he kills seven people in a diner (7), then eight at a gig (8) and so on.

Daisy Bell, the female killer, decides to murder someone from every address on her road, except hers.

The closing scene sees Dan, holding a bunch of flowers, about to knock on Daisy’s door. As he lifts his fist to knock, his phone rings.

It’s essentially Slumdog Millionaire, with chainsaws.

The Cast :

Vincent Gallo as Dan, Asia Argento as Daisy, with Dario Argento and Richard Curtis co-directing.

Sample Dialogue
:

Following his first ever brutal and bloody murder, Dan’s fingers are covered in gore. In a voice-over he says:

Dan: “I wipe my hands on the grass, ‘cause now I know that nothing ever lasts.”

 

Next: The Universal

 

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The Universal (1995)

 

Blur's first science-fiction song, The Universal documents a futuristic Britain which is in the grip of the titular drug.

We see no reason to change that high-concept...

The Movie :

Britain. The future. Government officials have made the National Lottery compulsory. It’s also daily.

It’s seen as a good method of distracting the populace from a new drug – the Universal – that is sweeping the streets.

When Universal dealer Jack Tracy meets Rosie Villa in a karaoke bar and tries to sell her the drug, he stumbles on the conspiracy to end all conspiracies.

The Government is making the Universal in a massive lab under Parliament; it’s key ingredient? The blood of the poor.

Lottery winners are invited to Parliament to collect their big cheque, and are never heard from again.

Jack resolves to take down the corrupt officials, whilst trying to deal with the Universal withdrawal symptoms, which make him feel like days are constantly falling through him.

The Cast :

James McAvoy as Jack, Samantha Morton as Rosie the Prime Minister’s daughter, and Phil Daniels as the Prime Minister himself. Terry Gilliam directs this semi-sequel to Brazil.

Sample Dialogue :

Jack: Yes the universal's here, here for everyone.

Rosie: Every paper that you read says tomorrow is your lucky day.

Jack takes out a wrap of Universal from his pocket


Jack: Well, here's your lucky day.

 

Next: Charmless Man
 
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Charmless Man (1995)

Charmless Man was inspired by a visit to Damon Albarn’s nan in Lincolnshire.

He popped into a railway toilet, saw some graffiti and was inspired to write the song, which is about a typical upper middle-class English yob.

The Movie:

Julian is the world’s most unlikeable man. He’s patronising, he has no sense of humour, and even his pheromones stink.

When a team of scientists offer to cure his lack of charm, he falls in love with the head white coat, Sandra, and agrees to take part in their experiments.

At first, their cure doesn’t work, the experiments are a failure and Julian becomes even more repulsive as a result of the disappointment.

But then Sandra agrees to go on a date with Julian and he is forced to improve himself.

Is Sandra falling in love with Julian? Or is it an attempt to keep her grant? A shocking end twist reveals all...

The Cast :

Ricky Gervais at his most David Brent as Julian and Cameron Diaz at her most Mary as Sandra. Michel Gondry directs this kooky and touching tale.

Sample Dialogue:


Sandra: “He moves in circles of friends who just pretend that they like him.”

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