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'There does seem to be a fountain of youth that eventually dries up'

Documentary-maker Julien Temple tells Tony Clayton-Lea about his fascination with the Pogues singer Shane MacGowan and why making a film about him was like tracking a snow leopard

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Interesting subject: Irish singer Shane MacGowan

Interesting subject: Irish singer Shane MacGowan

Interesting subject: Irish singer Shane MacGowan

Shane MacGowan is a "fascinating quarry". So says film, documentary and music video director Julien Temple, whose latest film is about the Pogues frontman. "I'd always been fascinated by him," he says. "I first interviewed him in 1976. It was around the time of the Sex Pistols and you just knew even then that he was someone you should keep an eye on. I'm attracted to quite difficult subjects, so he certainly ticks a couple of boxes."

Delayed, like much else this year, by Covid-19, Crock of Gold: a Few Rounds with Shane MacGowan splices accomplishment with misfortune.

For the most part, Temple's documentary work focuses on iconographic, conflicted pop culture figures and MacGowan is certainly one of those. The London-based director admits he is compelled to tackle subjects whose work challenges and confounds and he is fascinated by how people express themselves.


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