Pete Doherty – A Life In Film

So, another year, another sub-standard Pete Doherty documentary. MTV One’s ‘Pete Doherty In 24 Hours’ hits screens this Sunday (January 25). Make sure you tune in if you wanna see Pete making cups of tea, walking in the countryside and practising his catwalk moves…

Annoyingly, the only music featured in the programme is an embarrassingly ropey Libertines reunion with Carl Barat, filmed at Camden’s Prince Of Wales pub during a Gio Goi fashion show last September. It doesn’t do their legacy justice.

Apparently, says one Gio Goi flunky, the performance is special because “It’s the first time they’ve played onstage together since the Libertines split up”. Er…Hackney Empire, anyone?

This isn’t the first time Pete’s been burned by the TV cameras. There have been three feature-length documentary’s on him since The Libertines’ split (not including the MTV one), with another scheduled to come out next year. None have yet managed to rival, say, ‘The Importance of Being Morrissey’, or the excellent Pixies ‘Gouge’ doc (not ‘Loud Quiet Loud’!).

So, why – apart from money (or is it naivety?) – does Pete continuously get involved with this stuff?

Max Carlish’s ‘Stalking Pete Doherty’, although highly watchable for all the wrong reasons, resulted in Pete spending time in prison after beating up the jester-like Carlish when the director sold his story to the tabloids:

Whereas Carlish’s documentary had a perverse charm in its car-crash mentality, Roger Pomphrey’s ‘Who The Fuck Is Pete Doherty?’ failed spectacularly to answer its own question, barely managing to scrape below the Kate Moss-lined surface:

A 2006 Arena documentary on Pete, meanwhile, seemed to turn into little more than a vanity project for the director (shown below coaxing Doherty into singing Radiohead’s ‘High And Dry’ for the cameras):

Finally, we’ve got ‘The Road To Albion’ to look forward to, which is still in post-production. As with all Pete documentaries, the director (Robin ‘daughter of Peter’ Whitehead) claims to be making ‘the definitive film’ on his subject.

But judging by the trailer, how can you seriously expect to make a genuine Doherty retrospective when all of your footage seems to have been filmed after The Libertines split up? It’s like making a George Best programme and not showing this.

There’s undoubtedly a great story to be told here, but perhaps Pete needs to find someone who’s willing to actually tell it straight though. Or, better still, just get the bloke who filmed the clip below to release everything else he taped.

‘Horrorshow’ live at the Rhythm Factory, London, 2002