Movie Preview: When You're Strange, a documentary about The Doors (with video trailer)

“The Doors were a part of the sixties, but in a way, slightly either above it, or outside of it – not totally immersed in it … Their sensibilities were kinda formed slightly before the sixties started,” says writer and director Tom DiCillo, during a press conference video on the rock-doc’s website.


Judging by the trailer (watch it at the bottom of this post), the movie is meant to play out like a 1960s time capsule, featuring historic and unseen footage that was captured on film between 1965 (when the band became a band) and 1971 (the year of Morrison’s mysterious death). According to the website, When You’re Strange, follows the band from the corridors of UCLA’s film school, where Manzarek and Morrison met, to the stages of sold-out arenas.”


Something else that makes this a must-see musical account is the voice that was chosen to narrate — Johnny Depp. The professed music lover who has channeled Keith Richards and Hunter S. Thompson in his acting career, is sure to deliver the accounts of the charismatic and controversial band with the enchanting coolness and historical respect needed.


Depp is quoted as saying, “Watching the hypnotic, hitherto unreleased footage of Jim, John, Ray and Robby, I felt like I experienced it all through their eyes. As a rock 'n’ roll documentary, or any kind of documentary for that matter, it simply doesn’t get any better than this. What an honor to have been involved.”


When You’re Strange will be released in select theaters April 9 and the soundtrack, featuring live versions of hits like, “Break on Through,” and “Roadhouse Blues,” will be released April 6.


The Doors epitomize what it was to be a part of the late 1960s music scene. In 1967, the Lizard king and his trio of multidimensional musicians took the rock scene by storm, revolutionizing music by breaking through radio barriers created by mindless pop songs. The quartet is an emblem for the mantra “sex, drugs & rock 'n' roll,” and their songs exemplify the consciousness of the time period — meaningful poetic prose demanding listeners to “break on through to the other side.” This, combined with Morrison’s infamous intoxicated stage rants about the injustices of conformity in a corrupt American society, make The Doors the stuff of rock legend.

And no music legend is complete without a documentary to keep their rock 'n' roll adventures alive for those of us too young to experience the musical madness ourselves. With that in mind, I am greatly anticipating the release of When You’re Strange, the first feature film documenting the turned-on tales of The Doors.

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