Died Young Stayed Pretty

"Good"

Died Young Stayed Pretty Review


This documentary examines the dying art of rock music posters, which have had a huge effect on the world of graphic design. It's a visually stunning film, even if the subject matter isn't hugely compelling.

Rock posters burst onto the scene in the early 1980s with provocative images designed to grab attention and offend everyone but the fans. Sparked by punk rock and the counter-culture movement, these irreverent posters feature inventive, rough-hewn images and are often hand-crafted by enthusiastic fans who plaster them all over walls and poles, creating an anarchic street culture and often making the band look cooler than it is. The film interviews the geeks who designed these posters, looking back at the glory days of an art form that's disappearing.

Director Yaghoobian assembles the movie with wit and invention, capturing the scruffy texture of screen-print art with lurid colours and clever sound mixing.

And the colourful interviewees are engagingly obsessive fans who love working at the grass roots to support bands by coming up with the most eye-catching artwork. They're also painfully aware that this style of poster isn't as compatible with music today as in the rock 'n' roll heyday. So they nostalgically indulge in their private collections (Hayes is creating an exhaustive poster archive in his online Gigposters community).

While it's fascinating to see the origins of these vibrant posters, many of which subvert political, religious and corporate icons, the film cuts around randomly, with little context or relevance. There isn't a central figure we can hang onto; everyone gets equal time, which leaves the film feeling a bit aimless. A terrific montage tracing the printing process, drenched in blood-red ink, is particularly impressive, but the whole film would have benefitted from an overall narrative framework.

That said, this is a lively and entertaining collection of small sequences and visceral colour. Yaghoobian uses effectively offbeat camerawork and snappy editing, playing with graphic design and capturing the tiny obsessions of these nerdy designers, which adds amusing insight to each interview. And even though the meandering structure loses us, there's plenty of visual stimulation along the way. And a lot of extremely cool posters we'd love to get our hands on.



Died Young Stayed Pretty

Facts and Figures

Run time: 95 mins

In Theaters: Friday 17th July 2009

Distributed by: Norotomo Productions

Reviews

Contactmusic.com: 3 / 5

Rotten Tomatoes: 61%
Fresh: 19 Rotten: 12

IMDB: 7.3 / 10

Cast & Crew

Director: Eileen Yaghoobian

Producer: Eileen Yaghoobian

Also starring:

Contactmusic


Links



Advertisement

Contactmusic 2017 Exclusive

New Movies

Hidden Figures Movie Review

Hidden Figures Movie Review

This film recounts such a great true story that we don't mind the fact that...

The Founder Movie Review

The Founder Movie Review

This is the story of Ray Kroc, the man who created the concept of McDonald's....

John Wick: Chapter 2 Movie Review

John Wick: Chapter 2 Movie Review

Keanu Reeves picks up his supremely efficient hitman immediately where the 2015 original left him:...

Fences Movie Review

Fences Movie Review

After winning Tony Awards on Broadway, Denzel Washington and Viola Davis reteam for a film...

The Lego Batman Movie Movie Review

The Lego Batman Movie Movie Review

A spin-off from 2014's awesome The Lego Movie, this raucously paced action-comedy is proof that...

The Space Between Us Movie Review

The Space Between Us Movie Review

While the premise of this movie makes it look like a sci-fi adventure, the truth...

Toni Erdmann Movie Review

Toni Erdmann Movie Review

On paper, the idea of a two-hour 40-minute German comedy may not seem very promising,...

Advertisement
Gold Movie Review

Gold Movie Review

Based on a true story, this lively and sometimes outrageous adventure is packed with twists...

Loving Movie Review

Loving Movie Review

While this film tackles a huge issue in the history of race relations in America,...

T2 Trainspotting Movie Review

T2 Trainspotting Movie Review

It's been 20 years since we last saw four freewheeling young junkies from Edinburgh spiral...

Hacksaw Ridge Movie Review

Hacksaw Ridge Movie Review

Based on an astounding true story, this battlefield drama mixes warm emotion with intense action...

Sing Movie Review

Sing Movie Review

The quality of the animation in this musical comedy may not be up to Pixar...

Jackie Movie Review

Jackie Movie Review

Rather than make a standard biopic about the most famous First Lady in American history,...

Split Movie Review

Split Movie Review

After a few badly received sci-fi blockbusters, M. Night Shyamalan returned to his earthier style...

Advertisement
Artists
Actors
    Filmmakers
      Artists
      Bands
        Musicians
          Artists
          Celebrities
             
              Artists
              Interviews
                musicians & bands in the news
                  actors & filmmakers in the news
                    celebrities in the news

                      Go Back in Time using our News archive to see what happened on a particular day in the past.