I’ve got a problem with Pulp: A Film About Life, Death and Supermarkets. Actually, I haven’t seen the film yet, but therein lies the problem: I live in the US, and the people in charge of promoting and distributing this film couldn’t spare a fuck for the US if they had all the fucks in the universe.
I’m a big, huge, unabashed Pulp addict, and have been for many years. Let’s go with “the majority of my life,” since it’s accurate. I love Pulp, own all the albums, have gradually collected the 180 gram vinyls and the original pressings, and of course saw them as much as I could when they reunited through 2011-2012. I scrimped and saved and went without so I could do the SS Coachella to Jamaica and be there for Pulp’s last live show (maybe ever). They mean so much to me.
So of course, when this film was announced, there was massive excitement here, and amongst some of my dearest friends, whom I’ve met because of Pulp. We eagerly watched the announcements rolling out, hated that we couldn’t be at the SXSW premiere, and rejoiced when the film picked up distributors - including a US distribution deal with Oscilloscope, supposedly. We all watched enviously as the UK had a huge premiere event in Sheffield where the entire band and local colour walked the pink carpet, which was simultaneously broadcast in theatres across the UK so as many fans as possible could participate at the same time. Even now, the UK is enjoying lots of screenings, and is currently taking orders for special edition DVDs, Blu-ray, and digital downloads.
Here’s what the US have:
And as far as those tied with the film are concerned, that’s all we’re ever going to get. Oh, there’s one screening coming up in LA, but it was never promoted by the film’s people at all: not on Twitter, or Facebook, and only slapped into a huge list of upcoming worldwide screenings on the website after it had sold out. Pulp the band and even the venue itself didn’t promote this event. “So how did it sell out so fast, with no Pulp fans knowing about it?” you ask? Haha, you must be new to LA. People have season passes and know people, snatching up all music-related events so they have a new place to loudly talk and stare at their phones. Going to events is a status symbol and bragging right to so many, which means fans either get the shaft completely, like in this instance, or we’re stuck in the very back, unable to see anything over the fedoras and bros constantly getting up to grab another PBR. But that’s a different rant for a different time, the point is NO LA Pulp fans knew about this screening until it was much too late, and no additional dates are being added. Our one date doesn’t have anyone from the film participating anyway. A friend found out about two New York screenings, one which will be attended by director Florian Habicht, the other by Jarvis Cocker, but he only found out through the Coachella message board. And they found out through Brooklyn Vegan. No one associated with the film or the band has announced the screenings yet, and I doubt they ever will.
I posted a disappointed message on the film’s Facebook page last month when I found that the LA screening was sold out, and someone running their account responded, promising they would look to see if a ticket could be found for me. That’s the only thing I’ve ever heard from them, of course no follow up since. They don’t even respond to US/LA fans now, so I’m responding to them, telling them there’s no hope for LA, and for the foreseeable future, the US isn’t getting any DVD. They don’t respond to any of my tweets, either, but will retweet UK fans gushing about the screenings they’ve seen, or proudly announcing their pre-orders of the DVDs they will be receiving next week.
So why the big FUCK YOU to your American fans, Pulp people? You’ve made some efforts and responses to other countries, but for the most part you’re solely fixated on the UK and making it very clear that they’re the only fans that really matter to you. Obviously, Pulp is a British band, and Pulp: A Film About Life, Death and Supermarkets was filmed in the UK, but that’s grossly neglecting Pulp’s overlying message that’s drawn in fans from around the world: we’re mis-shapes and misfits together. I guess the people involved in the film really do believe that only English people deserve to enjoy Pulp, and the rest of the world is too common for their film.
ETA: Just after tweeting a link for this, the Pulp film people sent this:
Still no word on why they refuse to book screenings, or refuse to let the fans know about the few the US is getting. Oscillosope never responded to emails from myself and my business partner, sent months back when their role as US distributors was announced. We had written to ask about US screenings and merchandising opportunities, and offered our services as an event promotion company to help put on a screening for LA and promote the film ahead of DVD release. Oscilloscope hasn’t mentioned Pulp anywhere on their website or social media since April, when they mentioned the fact that they had picked up US distribution rights. That’s it.