Tuesday, 15 March 2011

The White Room (1989) - Bill Butt

God I love the interweb sometimes. I'd presumed that this was something I'd never ever get to see, and now here it is in all it's unfinished glory. For those of you blissfully unaware of just what The White Room is, I'll explain. Bill Drummond and Jimmy Cauty had a huge summer hit single in 1988 under the name The Timelords. Instead of buying gold plated swimming pools with their new found wealth, they decided to make a film and accompanying soundtrack. There are worse things to do with royalties such as burning a million quid, but that's another story I guess.

Anyway at some point during the shooting the money dried up. So Bill & Jimmy decided that another summer smash was in order, so they lifted Kylie Said to Jason from the forthcoming White Room soundtrack, and sat back and waited for the cash to roll in again. Except this time it didn't, the single didn't even make it into the top 100, and both film and soundtrack were scraped. The soundtrack although finished was reworked and became one of 1991's biggest albums, it's quite different to the original version though and well worth seeking out. The White Room film itself was plundered for a couple of videos, but other than that it has always been a bit of a mystery.

So is it any good? Well that all depends on just how much you like The KLF I suppose. Not a lot happens really, the film starts off in Trancentral, Jimmy Caulty's squat where most of The KLF's music was recorded, there is a (in the parlance of the time) rave going on. I spotted Youth, Alex Paterson and Cressida Cauty all dancing away. Bill and Jimmy stroll outside and get into Jimmy's Ford Galaxie cop car. Here they meet their real life solicitor David Franks, they converse (all mumbled) and then our duo head off into the night for a spin around London. The film itself is silent, in as much as their is no heard dialogue, the soundtrack will be recognisable to anyone who would bother watching this. Although I will say that I'm not 100% certain it's the correct soundtrack since the version of Build a Fire that is on here is from the White Room album, and not the unreleased version from the White Room Soundtrack (oh do keep up and stop yawning at the back).

Anyway after going into a tunnel in London they reappear in Spain. Lots of shots of the Ford Galaxie driving through stunning but empty landscapes, Bill finds a dead eagle and Jimmy paints the car white and not a lot else. They drive up into the mountains, and eventually find and climb up to The White Room, Franks turns up again, and then it's all over.

What's it all about? Well it's all supposedly to do with a contract that The KLF signed from a group calling themselves Eternity. Apparently (and I'm thinking a pinch of salt might be best with this) if The KLF were able to show a fictional route to the White Room, then Eternity would divulge the location of the real White Room to them. All sounds a bit X-Files, but then you have to remember just how much The KLF have mythologized themselves, and also how influenced they were by The Illuminatus! Trilogy of books by Robert Shea and Robert Anton Wilson. So anything is possible with that in mind. Anyway there were stories about the film being finished, with proper actors coming in and everything, but nothing came of it and that was that. I'd honestly say that if you're a fan then you have to see this, but for the casual film fan I'd say don't bother there are better ways to waste 45 minutes of your life. Go stick on the White Room LP instead.

No comments:

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...