Michael and I caught Julian Temple's new Joe Strummer documentary, "The Future Is Unwritten," on Saturday night at IFC. Although I'm somewhat embarrassed to admit that I'm a rather casual fan of The Clash (sorry, I was a Paul Weller/Jam guy all the way back in the day), Strummer's sudden death a few years ago hit me pretty hard as I've always known what an enormous impact he had on the music that has shaped my life. This film did a great job of explaining both where Strummer came from (the privileged son of a diplomat(?!!) turned hippie squatter turned punk rocker) and where he was coming from (the voice of an angry youth movement who was greatly conflicted by his band's enormous worldwide success). While the first half hour of the film goes a little overboard with Temple's famous 1980s video-style direction (including everything from archival footage, performance clips, testimonies from friends and associates to clips of the animated version of Orwell's "Animal Farm") and the end drags on a bit with star-studded testimonials (Johnny Depp's comments are particularly cringe-inducing) and the campfire metaphor that won't flame out, there's a solid 70 minutes (perhaps a more suitable length for this subject) in between that is as captivating as it is revealing. (That said, with literally dozens and dozens of people -- lovers, bandmates, ex-bandmates, etc. -- I think on-screen identifiers of people would have been extremely useful.) Perhaps hard-core Clash fans would know everything here, but I had no idea that Joe Strummer was by and large a sensitive and thoughtful man. Watching him come through the darkest days of his post-Clash depression and insecurity and mature into accomplished solo artist and the loving father of two young girls only made his untimely death seem more tragic.