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The Doors - When You’re Strange (When You’re Strange)
U.S.A. 2009

Opening 1 Jul 2010

Directed by: Tom DiCillo
Writing credits: Tom DiCillo

They emerge at a turbulent time in American history: J.F. Kennedy’s assassination, the Viet Nam war and segregation beginning to end; “And out of the crack that splits the country wide open…” come The Doors. In this mesmerizing documentary, director/writer Tom DiCillo utilizes archival footage, much never before seen, and Johnny Depp’s neutrally modulated narrative to explore the persona behind this influential rock band.

Summer, 1965: two film students at University of California Los Angeles fortuitously meet at Venice Beach; Jim Morrison reads one of his poems and Ray Manzarek likes it so much they decide to form a rock band. Once John Densmore (drums) and Robby Krieger (guitar) sign on, their combined creative chemistry ignites an ineffable phenomenon. The first-ever song Robby writes soars to Nr. 1: Light My Fire. They record their first album in five days, crediting all songs simply “The Doors”, appear on Ed Sullivan’s television show and “in only a year their metamorphoses is complete…the music is strange, music for the uninvited”.

By their third album, Soft Parade in 1968, internal strife impels separate song credits; also radically altered is the country. In 54 months The Doors soar like a phoenix and record six studio albums; they insist on complete artistic freedom, oftentimes at the cost of lucrative commercial contracts. Then in 1971 at age 27, Morrison dies.

DiCillo dispels myths and augments facts probing the causes and effects the band has on one another, especially the uncontrollable addiction-prone Morrison, and on rock’s development and their subsequent imprint on music. Micky Blythe and Kevin Krasny’s editing precludes imbalance: this iconic band amidst explosive chapters in America and music’s history. “The Doors will be remembered, and listened to, as long as people have ears,” states Producer Dick Wolf. I unequivocally agree…their music transcends time. (Marinell Haegelin)

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