Pulp: a film about life, death & supermarkets – 7.5/10.

Love letter to Sheffield that also features Pulp.


I was expecting Florian Habicht’s long awaited Pulp documentary to be a history of the band in the classic music documentary style but it is actually more of a concert movie than a linear story. Interviews with all the members of Pulp are interspersed with footage of their triumphant live return to Sheffield in 2012.

While front man Jarvis Cocker has always appeared candid in interviews, he is also controlled and guarded about certain subjects and the interviews here offer nothing we haven’t heard before but as always Jarvis comes across as warm, intelligent and funny. Arguably more illuminating are interviews with the lesser known members of the band with keyboardist Candida Doyle and guitarist Mark Webber particularly interesting.

Sharing almost as much screen time with the Sheffield five piece are the people of Sheffield themselves with extensive interviews with some of the most gloriously Yorkshire folk captured on film since Kes, as well as beautifully edited shots of Sheffield itself.

While the dark period of the recording of This is Hardcore is only briefly mentioned, the live performance of the title track is electrifying, indeed all the live footage captured from Sheffield arena is really high quality and contains numerous goose bump inducing moments with every song greeted with massive enthusiasm from the adoring Sheffield crowd.


If you were expecting a Montage of Heck style warts and all expose of Pulp with this documentary you might be disappointed but part of both Pulp and Jarvis Cocker’s appeal is the air of enigmatic mystery juxtaposed with seemingly autobiographical lyrics and A film about life, death and supermarkets fits the bands curious narrative perfectly.

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