Tag Archives: q

Quadrophenia (1979)

Director: Franc Roddam.

Starring: Sting, Phil Daniels, Leslie Ash, Toyah Wilcox, Mark Wingett, Phil Davies, Ray Winstone UK. 2h 0m.

Based heavily on one of the musicals written The Who, this landmark film really captures a slice of British History, albeit a little glamorized and hyped up, it’s a great glance back in time for us youngins. One of the merits of this  “not a musical/musical” is that there is no singing or dancing.. , it’s heavily structured by the Who’s powerful soundtrack but it’s only a part of the film and isn’t too overbearing.

Starting with some ambiguity, the film slowly and passionately details the working man’s life, the working man is Johnny, day to day he’s the mail boy, dealing with post by day and dealing with drugs and parties by night. He makes the schoolboy error of falling in love with a popular girl Lesley Ash (without her trout pout) but she hardly notices him and in turn he totally ignores a chemist who’s besotted with him and keeps him pilled up played by the lovely round faced Toyah Wilcox. Generally the drugs comes from Milky a black two-stone dealer who can be hard to find but the mods like to party and they party a lot, the only thing on their mind (apart from girls) is partying until the big event in Brighton and fighting the Rockers!

On first viewing the film is just another English drama, all about Johnny, getting by in life and living for the big beaches of Brighton where he and his crew are heading for long bank holiday weekend but as the movie progresses, through the bath houses, and greasy spoon cafes of the london street sceen, Johnny is experiencing something a little deeper than his’ peers and family really understand. Johnny is a pure mod, he lives and breathes the movement, and is a pillar of the small community, but his dreams are to be noticed with the big guys in Brighton, especially; Face (Sting) his ultimate hero and he can’t wait to meet him and bask in his company.

The copious amounts of pills and hormones aren’t helping, his head is all over the show, often missing work to spend time working on his bike, his future employment is at risk but he doesn’t care, he doesn’t want the 9-5, he has no aspirations to fit in with society he just wants the mod life, the young hopeful is building himself up to something so great it might not be achievable. His family barely notice that he’s alive, and have no clue what he’s really about, his family are his chosen friends..

The second half of the film things do start to spiral out of control, the group make their way to Brighton, they meet the legends and icons, go dancing and do some fighting, everything they dreamt of, Johnny even gets a bizarre encounter with his beloved up a dodgy alleyway during the fight, this spot is still a mod mecca point which is testament to the everlasting cult behind this film. Sting makes a small appearance at Face, the mod of all mods with the moddest bike on the planet, his character is also the breaking point for little Johnny when the a reality check hits him at a crucial moment and as his life is spiralling out of control, but with his eureka moment it dawns on the viewer that there might be an underlying mental problem here, Johnny is made up of all the characters from the Who, his schizophrenic personality changes in tune with the music… The end of the film is the beginning of the film, leading some to believe that this is a cycle of life that our hero Is trapped in, or it could just be artistic licence…

It’s pretty unmissable and you don’t need to be an acolyte of the scene to appreciate the heart of our lonely hero. It’s easy to identify with Johnny he’s the inner teenager within most of us stumbling over the problems that arise from not wanting to adult.  We all crave some excitement but most of us regain some kind of balance and end up conforming, what happens to Johnny as he walks back from the White Cliffs of Dover might have made a powerful sequel.

 

 

Rating 9/10

RNorthern Soul (2014), One Man Black Metal (2012)

L – Musicals

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Last Nights Movies 02-08-2017

Quiet Earth (1985) – I love lone man movies, I think we’ve all dreamt of being the only person around, but only for a little while. The fantasy often turns into a horror situation, either there is a threat like Omega Man or something goes terribly wrong as with an episode of  The Twilight Zone where Burgess Meredith gets his dream future of a world alone with his books, only for it to be suddenly taken away by a tragic and simple accident. But in this New Zealand 80’s Sci fi film a scientist finds himself seemingly the last person alive on this planet, searching for survivors and finding nothing he nearly turns to suicide until he stumbles on two more survivors, a ravishing woman and a Maori called Api, the trio team up and roam New Zealand trying to make sense of their situation. It’s one of those post-apocalyptic films that doesn’t fit neatly into the genre, maybe because it’s based on a 1950’s novel and a close contender with The world, the Flesh and the Devil (so close it’s almost a remake).  Rightfully it has cult status as it intelligently probed the drama involved in the situation, it helps having a scientist as the main character rather than a average tough guy, there’s no brute force and ignorance here, it’s all about the science and brilliant ideas, the ending is breath-taking and opens up so many more ideas, not something we see much these days it’s either zombies or zombies 9/10 Continue reading Last Nights Movies 02-08-2017

36 Quai des Orfèvres (2004)

36

Director: Olivier Marchal .
Starring: Daniel Auteuil, Gérard Depardieu, André Dussollier, Francis Renaud . France. 1h 51m.

I‘ve not covered a lot of French Cinema on my blog to date and I find this distressing and I’ll have to break this pattern as I watch a lot of French films, but for me some of the outstanding works of modern times are these slick and intelligent crime thrillers. For me this film is an excellent example of how to pay homage to a great director and film without pissing away the energy of a superb story and idea. Continue reading 36 Quai des Orfèvres (2004)