January 29, 2013

Can You See the Real Me Doctor?

This last Sunday I started a project I have been thinking about.  I'm going to start watching more Criterion Collection films.  Thankfully Hulu has a large collection (minus some of the more recent American films) so after spending 30 minutes just flipping through their holdings I selected Quadrophenia (1979).  I was at first dubious of watching a disco-era 1979 movie about loosely based on the 1973 The Who rock opera.  Thankfully this was no BeeGees Sgt. Peppers.  The performances were great and captured the teenage wasteland quite beautifully.

Phil Daniels, who played lead character Jimmy Cooper with a certain aplomb.  In certain ways his character reminds me of  Shakespeare's Hamlet and Salinger's Holden Caulfield who is more a figure largely shaped by others while yearning to be something different or larger until too late.

Like other teen, coming of age movies there are familiar tropes.  Parents still don't understand, social subcultures conflict, and a lead character out of step with his or her peers.  That said, the film has an endearing quality.  I felt for Jimmy despite him doing some stuff that made him a part of the problem and despite of his declarations of not being a follower, for most of the film he remains so.  Still I felt his heartbreak in his relationship with a girl, his place in the world, his parents.  And yes, The Who soundtrack and Detroit R&B classics provided a great feel to the film.

Well Recommended.

After watching Quadrophenia, I decided to take a change on another British 70's film, the 1978 cult film Jubilee.  I honestly gave the film 60 minutes and it just didn't grab me despite it's VERY heavy punk rock influence.   I did enjoy seeing some important punk figures "try" to act, but the film felt to blunt in trying to "say" something.   It DID have me jonesing to listen to some Adam Ant so I guess it wasn't all bad.

1 comment:

Elayne said...

My husband Robin feels a great sense of identification with this movie, as he grew up near Brighton and went to school in Eastbourne. I can't remember if he was a mod or a rocker, I'm going to guess (in the words of Ringo Starr) he was a mocker.