"Gimme Danger" and the trouble with critics
It's becoming increasingly obvious that some people just can't be given nice things. They've just got to pull them apart because... hell. I don't know what their problem is.
Case in point: Jim Jarmusch's cinematic love letter to the Stooges "Gimme Danger" that screened in Sydney, Australia, last Friday and Sunday nights. A world famous director makes a film about your most favouritst band in the whole wide world and you're going to have a massive sook fest? Why didn't they break out a fucking ouija board and interview all the dead guys?
Saturday morning I woke up in a strange alternate universe where a Stooges movie was a bad thing. You could right away tell who had seen it and who hadn't. I mean, people were criticising it for Dave Grohl and Bono interviews and shit.
There are no interviews with outsiders. We know the Stooges influenced everyone. We don't need to see that shit or those shit eating grins.
Jim Jarmusch gives us Stooges on Stooges. The only "outsiders" interviewed are The Asheton's sister Kathy and the guy who signed them, Danny Fields. It's a small, intimate movie. If you weren't in the gang, you're not in the movie. Suck it up, fanboy.
Let's be honest here. It would not be improved by a snake draped Alice Cooper telling us war stories. Maybe Wayne Kramer could have added some details - but at the cost of making this a movie about Detroit in 1969. There's all ready a couple of decent movies that'll plug that hole for you. Go watch them.
I heard people complain about the audience laughing during the movie. Can Iggy (the credits tell us he is played by James Osterberg) help it if he's a funny cunt who stole defeat from the jaws of victory and lived to tell the tale as a stand up routine?
I read a slag off in The Guardian about it's supposed "historical inaccuracies". Get this. Iggy tells a story about the Stooges playing on a bill with Joe Cocker. Iggy explains the audience didn't get the Stooges because they'd all come to hear (Iggy breaks into song) "You are so Beautiful..."
Snot-nosed journalist has to tell us that song wouldn't be written until four years later. See. That's how desperate these wankers are to slag off the film. Iggy cracks a joke to make a point and Mr Byline is too stupid to put it into context.
Well, straight up, this wasn't going to be an easy film to make. There's not a whole lot of live Stooges footage. There's the Cincinnati Pop Festival stuff that everyone has seen in at least one other documentary. In addition, Jarmusch has found some super eight fragments. But that's a lot of talking head to cover in the first hour of the film. Hey. Stooges reform and there's plenty of footage but, early days... not so much. Hell. You're lucky that there's anything at all.
To keep the ball rolling, Jarmusch employs an array of pop culture archive footage and cheap and nasty special effects that also maintain a certain period charm. Imagine Sixties Saturday morning cartoons as viewed on acid. He also uses a kind of paper cut out animation that makes South Park look like state of the art technical excellence. The funniest sketches involve Ron Asheton phoning Moe Howard and John Wayne trying to run over Iggy. There's a nice shot of shivering Stooges huddled outside a metal door and hearing "Kick Out The Jams" for the first time.
Some have complained this is in some way too arty farty for a Stooges movie. The director of Dead Man and Ghost Dog being accused of being too art house. Who'd have thunk it?
Besides. This is a band that played a vacuum cleaner on stage long before they ever dreamed of meeting Andy Warhol.
Despite what you may have heard, there is a perfectly understandably narrative. Many of the questions people have said were not answered actually were. Maybe you have follow on questions. Maybe you should make your own movie. Jarmusch's budget wouldn't have been much more than you could muster. It probably doesn't go as deep into everything as some people might like it to. It's only an hour and a half long, for fuck's sake. If you want more, it's because the Stooges always made you want more.
I'm told some people thought the film lacked danger. Meanwhile, band members tell tales of death, drugs crashes and beatings. Black cards pop up with alarming regularity as Stooge after Stooge departs the mortal coil. Maybe there are no syringe shots. I figured the sleaze was fairly obvious and you didn't need to go look for the money shot. A casual shot of Iggy sans front tooth spoke volumes. Grown men in defeat heading back to Mom's trailer or basement is the All American horror story. The high cost of years living dangerously.
Let's face it. Just about everyone mentioned in the film is fucking dead. By the end, Iggy seems to keep hanging in there merely out of spite for the tormentors of his youth.
The film also shows how dangerous the music really was. I know a lot of people like their rock without any roll. Well, this is a film where we are introduced to the early Stooges playing the song (and I use that term loosely) "Asthma Attack". Neither rock nor roll are in anyway evident. Iggy discusses his love for the noise of metal stamping machines and As the movie continues, it repeats over and over again the links between Stooge music with Jazz and the Avante-Garde.
And - just so you know - the audio remastering for the film is excellent. Wait until you hear the bass rumble in "Search and Destroy". Someone laboured with love when they were doing Dolby stereo on this.
I can only highly recommend this. You'll laugh. You'll cry. Anyone under the age of 40 won't believe it could have happened. What else do you want? A complimentary blow job?
Go fuck yourselves.
Three fucking McGarretts. Disagree all you fucking want. Your girlfriends will still love me.