The Fearless Freaks


Joy,despair, love, death, ecstasy, tragedy and a bearded fortysomething making heart-stoppingly beautiful music while surfing the crowd inside a big bubble. Bradley Beesley's flawless doc traces Oklahoma band The Flaming Lips' history from the horseplay of a sprawling extended family through a difficult white-noise period to the shimmering bliss of recent albums Yoshimi Battles The Pink Robots and The Soft Bulletin. Beesley's wisely sparing use of on-stage footage and sparse, need-to-know narration lends the film an accessibility that transcends the Lips' hardcore fanbase. It's warm, funny, strange and at times desperately sad. The stark and chilling centrepiece is a sequence featuring virtuoso songwriter Stephen Drozd unflinchingly shooting up heroin while chatting to camera - proof that self-indulgence and self-destruction are unnervingly similar urges.

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