Sunday, November 27, 2016


Starring Iggy Pop,
Mike Watt,
Ron Asheton,
James Williamson,
Scott Asheton,
Danny Fields,
Kathy Asheton,
Steve Mackay
Written and directed by Jim Jarmusch
Runtime 108 minutes
Rated R

          From the director of Dead Man and Year of the Horse comes this love letter to "the world's greatest rock band."
          Gimme Danger, Jim Jarmusch's documentary on Iggy and the Stooges, satisfies the tastes of film and music lovers alike. Fans of the Stooges and those new to the band will revel in the adventures of one Jim Osterberg, aka Iggy Pop.
          Presenting the Stooges story in a manner which loosely follows the band's eclectic, disparate cues, Jarmusch shows the social and artistic context of the Stooges' arrival in the late-60s and recounts their highs and lows primarily through commentary from Iggy himself.
          Sales have never reflected the greatness of the band. But that means nothing, because the same can be said of the poetry of Emily Dickinson, the paintings of Vincent Van Gogh, and the work of almost every other artist who ever lived. In the words of Iggy's friend David Bowie, "No one writes the American 'underbelly' as well as Jim."
          On that note, arguably songs from the Doors and the Rolling Stones give the Stooges their best competition. "I Wanna Be Your Dog", "No Fun", "I'm Sick of You", "Sixteen" and the song which inspired the name of the film exemplify the band's raw power. Often called "proto punk", the alternative provided by the Stooges to mainstream Top 40 can be equated with the far-reaching work of Philip K. Dick, whose groundbreaking novels did not outsell Isaac Asimov or Robert A. Heinlein upon release, but have clearly outlasted.
          According to Chrissie Hynde, Iggy is "the supreme Rock personality in every way." As Henry Rollins says, "Iggy never pulls back. He is, quite simply, the best."
          It's not just because he's famous for dropping his pants during a show. Or the fact that he always performs bare-chested. ("You never see the Pharoah with a shirt on.") With his defiant stance and uncontainable presence, Iggy Pop gives the impression of defining rock n' roll with every molecule of his being. And like Chuck Berry, Little Richard, and Jerry Lee Lewis, Iggy has the longevity to prove it. Corporate-packaged darlings often initially exceed him in sales, and then they're forever forgotten. But Iggy's an actual artist. He's indestructible.
          It was the band's good fortune that they didn't call themselves the Suave Dudes. Referring to the Three Stooges freed them to be everything they wanted. Wild, funny, totally original. They didn't try to fill the parameters of a pre-existing market. And they still don't to this day.
          One for the record books.

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