Dedications: My four late friends Rory, Stan, Bryan, Jeff - shine on you crazy diamonds, they would have blogged too. Then theres Garry from Brisbane, Franco in Milan, Mike now in S.F. / my '60s-'80s gang: Ned & Joseph in Ireland; in England: Frank, Des, Guy, Clive, Joe & Joe, Ian, Ivan, Nick, David, Les, Stewart, the 3 Michaels / Catriona, Sally, Monica, Jean, Ella, Anne, Candie / and now: Daryl in N.Y., Jerry, John, Colin, Martin and Donal.

Sunday, 15 January 2017

Absolute Beginners, 1986

ABSOLUTE BEGINNERS was not quite a success in 1986, but Julien Temple's film is a fizzing delight now, perhaps a proto music-video film. It looks fantastic with all those day-glo colours and is quite impressive with those recreations of Old Compton Street in London's Soho, and the seedy tenements of Notting Hill and Portobello Road. It is 1958, so racial tensions are simmering as the new teenagers discover all that new music .....

A musical adaptation of Colin MacInnes' novel about life in late 1950s London. Nineteen-year-old photographer Colin is hopelessly in love with model Crepe Suzette, but her relationships are strictly connected with her progress in the fashion world. So Colin gets involved with a pop promoter and tries to crack the big time. Meanwhile, racial tension is brewing in Colin's Notting Hill housing estate...

Temple (I loved his documentary LONDON THE MODERN BABYLON a few years ago, and his pop videos include Bowie's JAZZIN' FOR BLUE JEAN and Culture Club's DO YOU REALLY WANT TO HURT ME?) has a great eye for staging numbers, brings in an eclectic cast to support his leads: Eddie O'Connell as the young photographer hero and young Patsy Kensit - a perfect Bardot type here - as the aspiring designer. There's Ray Davies of The Kinks doing a terrific number and none other than Mandy Rice-Davies as his wife. James Fox is the reptilian fashion designer. And then there is David Bowie as the slick ad man. One watches entranced, THEN Sade comes on to deliver that slinky number "Killer Blow". So, whats not to love?  One to re-watch again soon. 

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