Ever since British singer and musician Ian Dury (1942–2000) had a hit with a song entitled “Sex & Drugs & Rock ‘n’ Roll!” these words have become a long-standing expression not just in the UK, but all over the world. Yet this song is not the only reason that Ian Dury is regarded as one of the most influential and original British singer/songwriters of the past thirty years; his music and his style made him a real trendsetter. He influenced bands like The Clash, The Pretenders and the Sex Pistols and also toured the USA with Elvis Costello and Lou Reed. Appearing in 1977, his debut album, “New Boots and Panties!!”, sold over a million copies and the cover, featuring Ian Dury and his young son Baxter outside an Army and Navy emporium is still revered today as one of the most brilliant LP covers of all time. The album’s artwork was by Peter Blake, who had worked with the Beatles and The Who and under whose tutelage Ian Dury had studied painting at the Royal Academy. Much of what he learned there flowed directly into the aesthetics of punk and new wave of the late seventies. The reasons why Ian Dury was to become one of the era’s wittiest and most idiosyncratic proponents are to be found in his biography, which is meticulously reconstructed in Mat Whitecross’s feature film. Ian Dury suffered a bout of polio as a child that nearly killed him. It was to leave him disabled and dependent on a walking stick. But his illness also helped him to develop at an early age the fighting spirit on which this ‘Spasticus Autisticus’, as he ironically dubbed himself in one of his songs, was able to found his unique career …
by Mat Whitecross
with Andy Serkis, Naomie Harris, Olivia Williams, Bill Milner, Tom Hughes
United Kingdom 2009 115’

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Ealing Metro International

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