THE MISSION: To meet Metallica's Lars Ulrich
‘MISSION TO LARS’ documentary gets cinema release in June.
Tom has Fragile X Syndrome, a sort of autism. All he's ever wanted is to meet Lars. After 20 years and 10,000 times of asking his journalist sister, Kate, when he was going to meet Lars, she finally cracked. This is a film that looks beyond disability, and uncovers the soul of a very cool guy.
Kate and filmmaker brother, William, break Tom out of his care home in Exmouth, and hit the road, from Bristol, to Heathrow, to LA, to Las Vegas and beyond. ‘Mission to Lars’ was made by William Spicer and James Moore. Both were veterans of music and brand promos, but complete movie novices.
“We had this fantasy of hitting the road with Tom and recreating some of the magic of our teenage years cruising around in £100 cars, eating Burger King and listening to heavy metal on the tape deck,” says Kate. “We thought it would be fun, bonding. We wanted to do something good for our brother. We were also sick of him endlessly asking.”
It doesn't take long before the hoped for dream becomes a nightmare as Tom’s disabilities, the dysfunctional family, and Metallica’s labyrinthine backstage world thwart the Mission at every turn.
At a fingernail destroying screening last summer (the night before Metallica headlined Sonisphere Festival), the Spicer family showed their film to Ulrich. The Mission to Lars production team squirmed with anticipation: would he like it? Yes, he liked it.
‘Mission to Lars’ is already garnering admiration, The Financial Times’ Antonia Quirke had this to say “I loved this film. More of a classic quest film than a documentary. It's so touching and open-hearted, and has so many magical moments. It feels really epic.”
The film has three goals: entertainment, awareness raising and fund raising. All profits go to Mencap, and the film has charity status. In raising money for the film, the producers also raised over £25,000 for Mencap. The film’s cinema release is being used as an outreach opportunity with talks and events following every screening.
Many people, from colour graders, sound mixers, Bob Dylan, screening rooms and the production assistant have given their talent and/or time for free. Kasabian donated stuff for them to sell to raise money, Huey from Fun Loving Criminals put them in touch with some text book tour managers to try out their blagging skills on, although the scary looking dudes backstage at Metallica’s show turn out to be loving pussy cats.
Mike Lindsay from Tunng scores, and the soundtrack includes Bob Dylan, Devendra Banhart and Blur.