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Remember A Day (with rare Pink Floyd instrumental) Print E-mail

Madstar Films Ltd, released 2003. Available from DarrylRead.com.



Remember A Day DVD including rare Pink Floyd musicFinally committed to film in 2000, after being in development for a few years, this film, which has developed a strong cult status, is finally receiving a release on DVD to a potentially wider audience.

The creators of this film, producer and lead actor Darryl Read, and writer Bernard White, famed Syd Barrett afficionado, have managed to involve a number of people who knew Barrett and were key members of the sixties "scene" - Peter Jenner, Jenny Fabian, Nigel Lesmoir-Gordon (who shot the footage that became "Syd's First Trip"), and Richard Wright, amongst others.

Richard Wright's main contribution was to give the rights to "Remember A Day", for Darryl and Bernard to use on the soundtrack - and also provided a very rare instrumental version which appears over the end titles!

Darryl, pictured below, has a long, diverse career, with extensive work on stage, screen and television. A member of the first punk band (Crushed Butler in 1969!), he has been working recently with Ray Manzarek of The Doors. He has a striking resemblance to Marc Bolan - whom he has performed as in a tribute, fittingly. Read draws on his career for some of the ideas and situations portrayed.

The film

The film itself is concerned with relating the story of Roger Bannerman, reclusive rock star from the late sixties, and the obsessed fan who "stalks" Roger and eventually kidnaps him. Roger is part Syd, part Darryl and part "typical rock star".

Darryl and Bernard make it clear that this story is a fictional drama, and not Syd's story, and the interviews included on the disc amplify this. There are certain parallels to Syd, in terms of certain situations, Bannerman's reactions to fans and groupies, and some of the events portrayed.Darryl Read in Remember A Day DVD including rare Pink Floyd music Indeed, Read's "Bird Song Clock" is a very convincing pastiche of an early 70's Barrett track.

The film starts with a mix of present day and flashback (shown with the use of fractals), and this blend continues throughout the whole piece. The story shows the development of the fan's obsession with Bannerman, hanging around the same pub as Bannerman, taking snatched pictures, collecting anything he could with his idol on, to the point when sense goes out the window and he kidnaps Bannerman.

Zoot Money is quite incredible in this role, as a celebrity's worst nightmare. He is so recognisable, the sort of person we have all seen - at concerts, hanging around stage doors, in collectors record shops - the sort of person you don't want to engage in conversation, who looks down on you as the "ordinary" fan.

Read's portrayal of a disenchanted, chemically affected rock star, with his world turned upside down, is very effective - I guess his time in the business has shown him how one can be affected by the pressures and temptations. Bernard acknowledges that his interest in Syd bordered on the unhealthy, and this was in part of way of exorcising this, and moving on. The character of the fan, therefore, has a number of parallels with Bernard, and is designed in part to be a warning to others that this could happen to them if their worship of a celebrity is taken too far.

There is some great music included on the soundtrack, apart from the title track - from the likes of (the interestingly titled) Dantalion's Chariot, Captain Beefheart, The Edgar Broughton Band, and even the Sex Pistols, with the first version of Pretty Vacant - an apt choice for the scene it accompanies! We understand that the release version of the DVD might not have the Pistols track on it due to legal reasons, but this is yet to be confirmed.

The extras

The disc gives you the normal chapter selection option, plus a set of interviews, and stills and posters. They do not skimp on these - you get 69 stills (colour, and black & white), and 21 posters, articles and album covers covering the career of Roger Bannerman (obviously fictitious!). Some of the stills are very similar (the pub ones in particular), but you cannot fault the number of these.

There are around 52 minutes of interviews, conducted with Nigel Lesmoir-Gordon (10 minutes), Jenny Fabian (9 minutes), Bernard White (12 minutes) and Darryl Read (21 minutes). These are all quite interesting, even if the interviewer doesn't come out with particularly challenging or searching questions, and cover such subjects as the creation and development of the film and the story, the credentials of the people involved, and the parallels between Syd and the Roger Bannerman character. These are worth watching prior to seeing the film, as they set the scene and the viewers expectations.

The disc

The disc is presented with a Dolby Digital 2.0 soundtrack, and an anamorphic picture that switches between widescreen and fullscreen, depending on the footage being shown during the film. The picture and sound are both clear, a legacy of the TV resources made available to the team behind the film. The initial intention was for the film to be shown on a channel such as the UK's Channel 4. There is the occasional digital artifact that creeps into the picture in places, and some places were clearly shot on DV, but this does not adversely affected the film, and takes nothing from it. Most people will not even notice these!

Putting the disc into your player gives a bright pink menu, a picture of Darryl as Roger Bannerman, and two and a quarter minutes of the instrumental "Remember A Day" track as backing. This serves to wet the appetite for the full version which appears over the film's end titles.

Conclusion

A nicely presented and thought-provoking film, which makes the most of its low budget, and includes some well acted scenes and situations. The two main characters perform their roles with great authenticity, and many of the other roles are tackled with, at the very least, enthusiasm! It has been well received at the various "underground" screenings it has had, rapidly and deservedly gaining a cult status. It won't be to everyone's taste, but certainly worth a try.

 
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