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Ibiza: The Silent Movie

  • Film

Time Out says

Hazy hedonism and history lessons mingle in this scrappy doc from Julien Temple.

The first thing to note about ‘Ibiza: The Silent Movie’ is that it’s not a silent movie. The soundtrack, curated by Fatboy Slim, is chockers with Beefa bangers that would basically collapse the set of ‘Metropolis’. There’s even a brief talking head or two to offer a local’s perspective on this tourist-flooded haven of hedonism. Nor is director Julien Temple all that committed to the conventions of silent cinema. There are intertitles, but information is also imparted via animations, cave drawings, weird recreations and the odd cameo (look out for Happy Mondays’ Bez throwing shapes as Phoenician dance god Bes) to whisk us through two millennia of Balearic life. As acid house smileys bounce across the screen and we cut away to another pair of boobs, you’re left thinking this is probably not how Werner Herzog would have done it.

Then again, Temple does have a Herzogian interest in the way island life has ebbed and flowed through the centuries – albeit approaching it with the irreverence of a British seaside postcard. From the Phoenicians with their hard-partying gods to even-harder-partying modern-day Brits, via the Romans, Dadaist artists and eloping Nazis, he paints a picture of a magnetic Mediterranean outcrop that draws in all comers and lulls them into hedonistic bliss.

Ultimately, though, it all feels a bit cursory – a chronological Wiki-traipse with too much clubbing for anthropologists and too much anthropology for clubbers.

Phil de Semlyen
Written by
Phil de Semlyen

Release Details

  • Rated:15
  • Release date:Friday 5 July 2019
  • Duration:92 mins

Cast and crew

  • Director:Julien Temple
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