The Roxette Diaries: A Review

As the Jonas Åkerlund film has its World Premiere at the Way Out Festival in Sweden, TDR reviews this Roxette feast!

Screen Shot 2015-08-12 at 9.30.07 pmEver wanted to see bits of “Sleeping Single” recorded during the Look Sharp! sessions? Or how about “Don’t Believe in Accidents?”

Ever wanted to see Marie and Per prepare for a shoot in front of a famous silver bus in the Californian Mojave Desert?

Or perhaps you’ve always wanted your mind blown as you see rare footage of Marie singing “It Must Have Been Love” A Capella during the hard-to-find “Summer Joyride 1992 Tour”?

Then Roxers – this is THE movie for you!

Stevo and Paul have a (virtual) chat about the movie.

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Stevo: Firstly, let’s begin with what this movie is not. It is not a documentary in the “traditional” sense. There is no voice over driving the narrative. There are no specifically recorded interviews with Marie or Per recounting their experiences. There are no reconstructions or newly produced sequences. No, folks. This is Roxette in the raw! This is Roxette; no holds barred. This is as intimate as a fan can get. This is a 90-minute Roxette feast that takes us backstage and on the road and in the studio with the band like never before.

Paul:  And that is what makes this so different.  I’ve seen a few band documentaries and any retrospective release always features newly recorded interviews/comments with band members remembering.  Like Stevo has said, this doesn’t have that.  Fans know Per/Marie, band members and management so well that this is like watching an old family home video that’s been recently discovered in the attic!

Stevo:  The format of the film is a collection of home video footage all cut together in a linear fashion based on the date they were recorded. It’s a walk through time starting in 1986. We start off in the studio with the old gang recording the Pearls of Passion album and the film ends in May 1995 as the band takes to the stage in one of their final shows from the “Crash! Boom! Live! World Tour”.

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Stevo: There is absolutely no stone left unturned in this die-hard’s paradise. The project is billed as a “Jonas Åkerlund Film” but really, without Åsa and Per being proactive enough to record, what feels like, every minute of the most important moments of Roxette’s life, this film would not exist. You know you’ve seen amazing intimate moments when you’re riding in the back seat of a car with Marie and Per in America and “Listen to Your Heart” comes on the radio and they turn up the volume as they celebrate their U.S. success – it’s guarded and utterly personal moments such as these that really makes you appreciate what a privilege it is be allowed to witness such incredible moments. And that’s precisely what this movie is – a collection of incredible moments.

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Stevo:  And that’s the beauty of the film – there are so many moments where you’re left pointing at the screen saying “oh my God” that’s from the Joyride video” or “that’s how they did the voice box vocals in Dangerous”. Then there’s the stuff you’ve never seen before like “oh my God, there’s Marie rehearsing Half a Woman, Half a Shadow for the 88 Tour”.

Paul:  Spot on! You’re so right – I found myself saying that so many times at so many different parts of the movie.  I’m sure even spotted some behind the scenes photo shoot preparation from the Official 1995 Roxette calendar…

Stevo:  In fact, there are so many “oh my God” moments that I truly don’t know where to begin… but also, I’m conscious of spoiling it – so this review is more about whetting your appetite and getting you excited about what’s to come… because believe me, there’s plenty to get excited about with this film!

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Stevo: Remember the much loved 1991 “Making of Joyride” documentary? You’ve probably worn out the VHS tape (Paul:  Don’t forget – it’s also been on the Rox DVD’s as well!) by now from re-watching it a million times like I did. Now, fast forward over 20 years to that moment when you bought The Per Gessle Archives and heard the full version of “The Big L” demo that gets played in the “Making of Joyride” – it’s like all your Roxette nerd dreams and fantasies have come full circle. All of a sudden, “…you take a walk it’s such a beautiful day, the sun is up, you know it’s going your way – hey hey…” makes total sense. It’s almost like hearing that full demo resulted in the final pieces of the Roxette puzzle being solved.

Paul:  I actually remember where I was when I first heard the full “The Big L” demo.  Which is still amazing, by the way!

Stevo:  You’re right! Well consider this film the final pieces of your Roxette puzzle. This movie brings you full circle – and you know that you have reached full circle when you finally see Pelle hit those suitcases instead of drums in a hotel room recording session of “Here Comes the Weekend”.

Paul:  Stevo, you certainly do have a way with words.  Couldn’t have described this better.  25 years a fan and it’s always exciting to see ANYTHING new, let alone 90 mins of footage like this.  We’ve been so lucky over the last few years with all the tours and new music and this movie certainly does seem to come full circle.  Are Roxette ready to close a chapter on their past and look towards the new future?  Who knows.

Stevo: The inner sleeve of 1992’s Tourism describes the intention of the project as “capturing the energy of the band” – and this film captures that very energy over an intense period for Roxette and it is truly a privilege to be a part of it.

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Stevo: If you’re a Roxette fan and you’re not satisfied with this all access, backstage pass to the most important years of the band’s life – then you’ll never, ever be satisfied. But of course, in typical Roxette fan fashion, having said all that – surely Per knows what will be demanding next… a sequel of course; 1999 onwards!

Paul: Are the fans ever really truly happy though?

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Stevo: But seriously, Roxette Diaries is a triumph as we delve into the most treasured and never before seen slices of Roxette life – do not miss it!

Paul:  I agree – everyone should check this out.  Even non-Rox fans should watch – an insight to any band at the height of their commercial peak should not be missed.  As for Rox-Fans – you’re gonna love it!


  ★ The authors:
Paul Belben

  ★ Publishing date:

August 14th, 2015

Internal reference code for TDR's Good Reporters: [tdr 957176]

This article was posted here on TDR in these categories:

TDR:Exclusive, TDR:Releases, TDR:Roxette.

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  • David Jakubowski

    I enjoyed your review (as always) but it doesn’t say HOW to see this movie. Is it available somehow worldwide? Thanks.

    • No one knows yet. It was premiered today at the Way out West festival in Gothenburg.

    • Stevo Petkovic

      Unfortunately, we’re still not 100% sure of how/when this will we be made available –
      the second we do, we’ll let you all know, keep checking both TDR and TDR
      on Facebook for all the info!

  • Coolbluez

    Yes how can we see/buy it?

    • Stevo Petkovic

      We’re still not 100% sure of how/when this will we be made available – the second we do, we’ll let you all know, keep checking both TDR and TDR on Facebook for all the info!

  • Tridy

    It would make a nice bonus dvd to a new Greatest Hits album :D. Just kidding.

    Probably the easiest way would be to put a DVD on the deluxe edition version for the next album coming some time this year.
    I guess there is no point for BR format.

    It would also be nice to get commentaries as an extra audio track on the disc, for those who actually enjoy the commentaries.

  • s1974x

    Is it true that the DVD videos from the Roxette box are poorly done? I don’t mean the content of the material but the quality of the material itself. I believe I heard it looks like a low-quality copy of the VHS tapes. Obviously much of this elk be low quality just due to the nature of personal camcorders from this era, but that is understandable. Low quality copies of professionally produced videos should be good quality.

    • It is very true. Very compressed.

    • Fabio

      The Roxette box has a double-sided DVD and each side holds 5 GB of data. One side is taken by the MTV Unplugged. The other is crammed with almost 40 videos. It’s not a matter of low quality copies, but more a matter of ‘not enough space to have them in higher quality’, I think.

      • Ally

        The Rox Box DVD is double sided… Well I never realised that!

        • RobS

          You didn’t wonder where the other half of the content was at any stage? LoL

  • roxulikeababy

    Whatever the quality, I cannot wait to see this!

  • Stephanie Freund

    “…and you know that you have reached full circle when you finally see Pelle hit those suitcases instead of drums in a hotel room recording session of “Here Comes the Weekend”.”

    This is one of my favorite lines in the history of ever. Can’t wait to see this movie!! <3

    • Stevo Petkovic

      Thanks Stephanie. Glad you enjoyed the read – just wait til you see the movie 😉

  • RobS

    So much excitement! My only issue would be the run time…9 years in 90mins, way too short. Definitely going to be interesting though – as mentioned one of the big highlights will be “that’s from here/there”. Just pointing out things that you’ve already seen before, but from a different view. And the whole it’s not really a documentary thing is quite intriguing.

    Just out of curiosity, you guys got to see a press preview release?

    • We got some sort of preview yes. We were invited to Gothenburg but couldn’t go.

      • RobS

        Too bad you guys couldn’t go. I’m sure it would have been fun.

        The whole doco is subbed in English, right?

  • Ally

    Perhaps the best idea would be for an official release on DVD / Blu-ray, plus also adding the old concerts to such a release. Would be a nice bonus to celebrate 30 years!

    • RobS

      Now that is a nice idea!

    • Tridy

      It does not look like any of the publishers will dare to make it a separate full commercial release. It’s not that type of material that would sell on the required scale. So, an accompanying disc to a book or a deluxe version to a box/hits package (too late). Since the next release will probably be a new album, that’s where it could be released, even though the new album and the Diaries don’t really fit together that well. I hope it will not end up coming on TV and then waiting a couple of years for the next compilation to be included.

      It might not be the worst [commercial] idea to re-package the XXX compilation for the Sounth African leg for next year and release it with a bonus DVD.

  • Ally

    Perhaps the best idea would be for an official release on DVD / Blu-ray, plus also adding the old concerts to such a release. Would be a nice bonus to celebrate 30 years!

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