Depeche Mode: Random Access Memory

Mikey 1 comment
  • DVD Review
Depeche Mode: Random Access Memory

The disappointing opening title unfortunately sets the initial tone for this 60 minute documentary. When I read the words "This film contains no music by Depeche Mode" I was instantly expecting disappointment.

Perhaps it was the lead up. I waited three weeks for this DVD to arrive from the US, during which time I could think of nothing else. I even planned my annual leave around the time I expected it to arrive.

You see I have always been a huge admirer of DM's work, right from the early Speak & Spell days but I kind of stopped following their career around the same time I started a family, so I had not really heard much from the albums Exciter and Playing the Angel. I was anxious to sink my teeth into the Unauthorised Documentary to more or less play catch-up and for some nostalgia.

Depeche Mode: Random Access Memory

Depeche Mode: Random Access Memory is an unauthorized biography of the popular band. Although none of the band members appear (except for archive footage), there is a lot of voice over commentary provided by Andy Fletcher' although there is nothing to indicate that he provided said commentary for this film. There are interviews with DM's friends and associates including Brian Griffin, Jonathan Miller, Phil Burdett, and strangely a DM tribute band.

Some of the ground covered is old hat to most DM fans, but there are some interesting stories and revelations made by the people who do appear in this documentary.

To its credit the film does stay focused on DM where it could have easily strayed into Vince Jones' Yazoo and Erasure territory. There is probably a little too much focus on the bands album cover Photographer, which did not contribute to the subject at hand.

The backing track (not DM) is an awful wanna-be DM sounding techno-esque composition which would have been better served by using actual DM music.

Compared to D.A. Pennebaker's amazing 1989 'Depeche Mode - 101' (re-released on DVD in 2003), Random Access Memory is at best a light fluffy Friday night spot TV filler. Fans will be disappointed but those who have ever been curious about DM might get something from it.
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Thursday 14th September 2006 | 02:57 PM

I saw this and it was ordinary. Nothing beats 101.

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