Coming to theatres tomorrow, Friday, Ocotber 28: GIMME DANGER
Jim Jarmusch’s chronicle of The Stooges debuted at Cannes. Screenings followed at Toronto, New York, Vancouver, Austin, New Zealand, Sydney, Melbourne, Sarajevo, Helsinki, Mill Valley, Rio, Adelaide, Woodstock, and Leeds, among other events.
Jarmusch crafts a loving tribute to the proto-punk rock band fronted by Iggy Pop which played between 1967 and 1974 before disbanding. Performing to often hostile audiences more interested in Pop’s wild antics than the music, their albums were commercial and critical flops. Plagued with drug addictions, the band displayed erratic behavior and grew so undependable that they were soon dropped from their major label, Elektra, followed by their dissolution. In later years, however, buoyed by the cleaned-up Pop’s successful solo career, The Stooges were re-evaluated by music critics, and were cited as important influences on several bands, including the Sex Pistols and the Ramones, helping to bring attention to the underrated band, which now holds legendary status. The film brings together Pop and surviving bandmates to provide an anecdote-filled oral history of their time together, well-illustrated with archival performance and photographs. While addressing factors that fractured the band, like their addictions, discussion of the impact of Pop’s solo stardom is largely ignored, a conspicuous omission given the paths the rest of The Stooges followed after their breakup and before the band’s late reunion in 2003. Ultimately, Jarmusch’s affectionate if somewhat conventional tribute will best be appreciated by pre-existing fans, even if it may inspire a few younger viewers to explore their music history.