Spirits In The Forest: Depeche Mode’s Complex Fan Culture (Clash feature, 2019)

Anton Corbijn‘s new film about Depeche Mode fans, Spirits In The Forest, is released in cinemas for one night only on Thursday November 21.

Ahead of its release I wrote a feature for Clash anticipating Corbijn’s film through two previous films – D.A. Pennebaker‘s seminal road movie 101 and the never-officially-released Our Hobby Is Depeche Mode, directed by Nick Abrahams and Jeremy Deller – as well as my own personal experiences of being a fan of this enduring Mute group.

Read the Clash feature here. Read my review of Our Hobby Is Depeche Mode here.

(c) 2019 Documentary Evidence for Clash

4 thoughts on “Spirits In The Forest: Depeche Mode’s Complex Fan Culture (Clash feature, 2019)

  1. Hmmmm. The Clash article that’s supposed to be about a film you haven’t seen yet ends up being a long eulogy to Posters/Hobby. Not to mention you used a spoof trailer of SITF (which isn’t even funny; was that intentional or just done in a rush and you didn’t notice the old man playing an accordion was not part of the real documentary?).
    No offense taken, but why not wait until you see Spirits and then draw your own conclusions? You’re not that far off, but there’s no trace of 101, nor Posters/Hobby in SITF. The makers of SITF were very much aware of what pitfalls to avoid this time.

    • Thanks Daniel. Clash prepared the final article for the web – I just wrote the words in response to a request from my editor. I made it clear it wouldn’t be about the film as I am looking forward to seeing it like everyone else, but what it means to be a fan, and I can think of no better way to do that than through Our Hobby Is Depeche Mode. Thanks for reading.

      • It’s quite a complex answer (you got that right). It’s not so much about what it means to be a fan, but what in this band brings us all together. I was very much afraid the final cut would resemble 101 or Hobby/Posters and it really doesn’t bear any similarity indeed. Hobby/Posters has its moments with Trent Reznor and the fans from Iran, but the final result is a freak show, to be honest. SITF shows a more human side of the fans instead of us boasting our devotion to the band. I was very tense during the first showing of the film in London last month, afraid that our message would get lost somewhere in between “there’s not enough of the band” and “I don’t care about other fans”, but the people who were present came talk to me to say they really did identify themselves with us. Anton, Pasqual and John knew their territory. And even I caught myself moved by everyone else’s story.

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