People say that the music business looms as cut throat, nasty, and wicked. Music industry execs will eat their young just to get ahead in the business. It makes the Hollywood film scene seem like love fest. Such is the sentiment of Kill Your Friends which plays at the Mill Valley Film Festival later this week.
Kill Your Friends uses the sharp edge of a CD, vinyl LP or other weapon of choice to show the 1997 British music industry in a pitch black comedy light. In the era of Britpop with bands such as Oasis, Blur and Radiohead leading the indie scene (and neatly woven into the stirring soundtrack) Kill Your Friends spotlights rising A&R (Artists and Repertoire) star Steven Stelfox (Nicholas Hoult, X-Men) who lets nothing and no one stand in his way to sign the next big band.
First time feature director Owen Harris uses skillful timing to balance the sharp wit, cynically hilarious dialogue and over the top violence into a deliciously outrageous view what it takes to create a hit record. Harris takes the novel and screenplay written by John Niven and weaves together an unbalanced team of music industry types with the right blend of greed, alcohol and blackmail, and body parts not to mention lines of enough cocaine (as well as a slew of cocaine synonyms) to skewer the record industry.
Think back to the time when the Sex Pistols sang about EMI. “And you thought that we were faking, that we were all just money making.”
The film takes a brutally honest look at how record execs exploit their talent all in a quest for money. Some may say that the pen is mightier than the sword. In the case of Kill Your Friends the CD is mightier than both.
Plays Friday Oct 16, 2015 11:30 AM at the Sequoia 1 Theater in Mill Valley