MORRISSEY is threatening legal action against a film director over the sale of a candid documentary of the singer on tour.
The 30-minute film entitled ‘South With Morrissey‘ was shot during the South American leg of the ex-Smith’s ‘Oye Esteban’ tour last year, and was originally intended for TV broadcast.
However, director Barry Derbyshire recently set up his own website offering DVD and VHS copies of the documentary, and soon caught the attention of the singer. A spokesman for Morrissey said: “Derbyshire has no rights to the film – all sound and visual elements are owned by Morrissey. The availability and sale of ‘South With Morrissey’ is against Morrissey‘s wishes, and will force the inevitable legal action.”
Angered by the threats, Derbyshire swiftly responded: “I have no contract with Morrissey and anyone who has followed his career will probably not be too surprised to hear this. For me it’s always been about trust, not men in suits sorting out what people should or should not see.”
He claims to have had a verbal agreement with Morrissey to make the film, but that numerous requests for feedback from him on the completed documentary were ignored.
The director had previously conducted a series of photo shoots with the singer, some images from which were used as backdrops on the ‘Oye Esteban’ tour. On his website, www.southwithmorrissey.com , he claims: “This film is not some tacky ‘ Moz reveals all’, it is just my interpretation of events in Latin America.”
Many fans responded angrily to talk of a block on the sale of the documentary through various messageboards. Some accused the singer – currently without a record deal – of a “Lars Ulrich-style” attitude in light of the Metallica drummer’s fiercely anti-Napster stance, and of neglecting his fanbase of new material.
Morrissey‘s last UK release was 1997s ‘Maladjusted’, and since parting ways with Mercury has been more low-profile than ever, emerging briefly to promote the US-only ‘Oye Esteban’ video compilation DVD last year.