Egotistical Genius: Our Review of ‘Creation Stories’

Egotistical Genius: Our Review of ‘Creation Stories’

Over the last few years, movies based on the lives of people working in the music industry have become big. From the wonderful Bohemian Rhapsody to the eccentric Rocketman, movies took on a journey that not only awes and inspires, but also gives us a glimpse into the lives of our idols. What these movies have also done, however, is show us the dark side of the industry. That there’s a horrible sadness that many of these artists carry with them. Creation Stories shows us the industry from the inside, looking at the life of one of the most influential managers and record label owners of the early 1980s’ to the late 1990s’, Alan McGee.

Alan McGee (played by Ewen Bremner) tells us early in the film that he doesn’t have any talent. In fact he wanted to be a musician himself, much to the chagrin of his abusive father. But he quickly learned he wasn’t cut out for it. Instead what he does discover is that he has an ear for talent, and can convince rising stars that he can help them take off. He also proved himself in making stars. He managed and signed such acts as The Jesus and Mary Chain, My Bloody Valentine and Oasis. Success goes to his head however. And instead of enjoying what he does, he spirals out of control in a drug and alcohol fueled daze. These dazes force him to attend rehab to try and get his life back together.

Creation Stories warns us early on that not everything shown on the screen is entirely real, which is great because at times the film is an eclectic mess that is hard to follow. It jumps back and forth from the past to what we assume to be the present without skipping a beat. There are plot points that are brought up, only to never be mentioned again. This frustrating way of storytelling leaves you hanging, even if the director meant to show you life through Alan’s eyes.

The director is obviously trying to replicate Alan’s erratic mind on the screen. But instead of getting the complete story, it leaves us with what feels like talking to an addict instead of of a master storyteller. The other problem is Alan isn’t particularly a likeable person. And while you feel sorry for him at times, you feel more like he made his own bed and should sleep in it.

While Creation Stories has moments that really draw you in that makes you feel sorry for the protagonist, on the whole its a muddled mess that knows itself as well as Alan knew himself. Which is to say not at all. The film is perhaps one that would interest music historians or people who have an interest in the industry. But for the average viewer it’s probably better to tune out.

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While Roderick has only been writing movie reviews for a relatively short time, he's been a fan of film for as long as he can remember. It's a love affair that started when he saw Star Wars at a drive-in theatre in Kitchener when he was four years old. In the past decade he's fulfilled his dream of interviewing celebrities, attending red carpets events at festivals such as TIFF and writing reviews for outlets such as He's always on the hunt for the next big thing to hit the screen.
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