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FilmSoc Reviews: Creation Stories

Posted by FilmSoc on Tue, 23-03-2021

By Eoin McCambridge 

Creation Stories tells the supposedly true to life story of Scottish born record label owner Alan McGee, who from 1983 to 1999 ran Creation Records, the no.1 label for independent and alternative British rock acts and would lay claim to such beloved acts as The Jesus and Mary Chain, My Bloody Valentine, Primal Scream, Ride and most notably Oasis. Starting life as McGee’s autobiography, Creation Stories was adapted into a screenplay by writers Dean Callaghan and Irving Welsh of Trainspotting fame, with Nick Moran then taking on directing duties. 

Ewan Bremner stars as McGee and the film initially operates with the framing device of an adult McGee doing publicity in Los Angeles, recounting his childhood and teenage years to a journalist beside a swimming pool. Employing Bremner as the narrator (although both Bremner and the interviewer in question don’t deliver particularly strong performances I must say), the film does find itself falling into the trap of getting overly nostalgic and reflective, but Moran mostly keeps it on the right course.

The movie flashes back to 1974 Glasgow as a teenage McGee toils in his working-class stomping grounds. He merely wants to wear Bowie-esque make up, play air guitar in his room and buy records while his abusive dad would prefer him to play football and work for a living. After an eye-opening experience of seeing the Sex Pistols perform on the TV he decides to form a band and move to London, initially achieving success by signing The Jesus and Mary Chain, followed by My Bloody Valentine and finally Oasis, bringing Creation to record levels of new success. We see Alan McGee go from penniless train ticket inspector to lauded record producer and even as far as special counsel to Tony Blair, all before his life crumbles before his very eyes.

Creation Stories carries with it a unique aesthetic (not dissimilar to Trainspotting actually) with the film constantly showcasing drug usage, slick montages and decrepit houses. The film begins to feign as the cracks in Bremners performance become more and more visible, and there are numerous times that the film feels rather artificial than a true representation of punk rock culture, but overall Creation Stories is a fun movie charting the rise of one of the UKs most influential record producers.

Creation Stories is available to view now on Sky Cinema and Now TV

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