Reviewed by: Amber Wilkinson

"The film is a bit of a hotchpotch... but it paints a warm portrait."

Back in the dim and distant past, when Fish (aka Derek Dick) had just left Marillion, I went to one of his gigs and vividly recall how excited my friend was when they told me that, as he had been supping a pint in the bar beforehand, he realised the bearded bloke next to them was the man himself, and better still, that he'd been more than happy to have a bit of a natter before nipping off backstage.

Artur Guza's up-close documentary of the singer's 2010 tour of Poland shows his affable and approachable attitude towards fans has remained undiminished down the years. The film itself is a bit of a hotchpotch of backstage interviews and segments from a Polish radio broadcast interview mixed with some great gig footage of Fish singing tracks including Plague Of Ghosts, Pilgrim's Address and State Of Mind - but it paints a warm portrait.

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The radio interview offersthe most structured, probing questions but Fish is thoughtful and humorous in equal measure when addressing the camera, one minute branding himself "naughty" for flirting with a female journalist on the phone and the next talking seriously about the fact he is "a news junkie" who gets more angry as he grows older. The ageing process is a strong current running through the film, as he talks about his failed second marriage, which ended in divorce after just 11 months, and considers the recurrent cyst issue he has had with his vocal cords that could finish his career for good.

He takes an open approach to the camera and the film also finds time to give fans the sort of information they want, such as how he came to be working with keyboard player Foss Paterson and guitarist Frank Usher and his backstage crew. While the extensive first-person interviews keep this film intimate, there is very little in the way of interviews with anyone else and is very much seen from a Fish-eye viewpoint. A bit more about what the big man is like to work with would be most welcome. As the film progresses, there is also increasing amounts of gig footage - including the fun and games of setting up at a venue in an undeground mine - but it leaves you with a feeling that this was the easiest way Guza could think of to fill out the runtime. This is nevertheless a warm and gently honest film, chiefly aimed at his existing fanbase but which could, thanks to the weight of great concert footage, win over a few new converts as well.

Reviewed on: 02 Jul 2015
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Documentary about ex-Marillion frontman Fish.

Director: Artur Guza

Year: 2015

Runtime: 79 minutes

Country: UK


EIFF 2015

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