This month I’m looking forward to a second viewing of The Heart Of Bruno Wizard, a truly heartwarming documentary about one of London’s unsung creative spirits. 64-year-old Bruno Wizard is a one off and his story is a colourful one. (The story of how the film came about is pretty cool too, you can read it here.)
Bruno was a resident of the legendary Warren Street squat (look out for fellow squatters, Stephen Jones and Marilyn in the film) whose bands The Rejects and The Homosexuals performed perfect three minute punk songs and never sold out – unlike some of their contemporaries. Bruno seems to have umpteen lives as the film narrates his many ups and downs throughout the decades. We arrive at the present day in which his spirit is unbroken, his mind as lucid as ever and his character charming but always unpredictable.
Who doesn’t love a good, heartwarming music documentary? If you enjoyed Searching for Sugarman, you must look out for The Heart Of Bruno Wizard. I caught a screening at the East End Film Festival and am impatiently waiting for distribution news so I can see it again.
Bruno is one of those people that I’ve seen out and about and chatted to over the years but never quite understood what he does. The Heart Of Bruno Wizard is his story, told by first-time director Elisabeth Rasmussen. Of course, this isn’t really a music documentary at all but a heartfelt portrait of an artist. We follow his story from punk provocateur (he called his band The Homosxuals ‘to keep the record companies away’ – brilliant!) to artist, political activist and displaced Londoner. Cheesy as it sounds, The heart of Bruno does indeed come across. He’s an old school poet for the people in the same mould as Joe Strummer who never sold out and still carries his message in whatever art medium he can, to whoever will listen.
There are some excellent talking heads featured in the film, including fellow Warren Street squatters Stephen Jones and Marilyn. The music and archive home movie footage are fantastic too. You can get a taste in the trailer here…