Practices of Verisimilitude in Pop Music Biopics: A Conversation with Todd Eckert and James Anthony Pearson on Control, and Nick Moran on Telstar

Jon Stewart, Liam Maloy, Benjamin Halligan


The arresting look and feel of two recent British music biopics, Control (directed by Anton Corbijn, 2007) and Telstar: The Joe Meek Story (directed by Nick Moran, 2008), prompts a reconsideration of questions of realism and authenticity – rationales, strategies, practices and constructions – in the historical popular music biopic. The first-hand accounts collated here highlight the ways in which verisimilitude can be compromised by the production process, particularly in relation to budget restrictions and expectations, performance limitations, equipment and props use, contemporary or period dialogue, music copyright, and a myriad other issues and challenges relating to the production of “period” cinema.


Film; Biopics, Fandom, Production, Verisimilitude, Realism

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