Sunday, February 19, 2006

They tell me of a pie up in the sky, waiting for me when I die

Just watched "The Harder They Come" and "Rude Boy" in the same evening.

I can't believe it took me this long. (it was a great move to watch both films in the same night, though. All this talk of Ivan, and how Rudy can't fail, they got the weed, they got the taxis, et al.)

Parts of "Rude Boy" are pure pornography (when it comes to Paul Simonon). I couldn't believe my luck! Much of the footage from "Westway to the World" is from the 1980 film. I have never seen so much of Joe Strummer's fantastically horrible teeth, poor sod. I also had never seen him play "Let the Good Times Roll" on piano or go on about fame, communism and fascism. Incredible. There are amazing full performances of "White Man in Hammersmith Palais," "Garageland,""White Riot,""What's My Name," so much more. Again, seeing quality footage of Strummer's stage persona was really stunning. Writhing around on stage and crouching down low and staring straight into the eyes of the kids in front. Seeing him without a guitar strapped around him was strange! Paul is snarling his lips, pogoing and pointing his bass at the crowd like a tommy gun. It was absurd what a sex symbol he was. Topper is surprisingly lucid, funny and a machine behind that drum kit. Mick is kind of an asshole, but the rendition of "Stay Free" he does in the movie is really touching and his voice sounds tops.

"The Harder They Come"....was mindblowingly great. So much involved in the plot: country boy Cliff comes to Kingston, trys to make it as a singer, ends up an angry and violent criminal, but his single becomes the hottest track around (the lambasting of the church was pretty killer, too)It's all that with the brilliant Jimmy Cliff soundtrack behind it, the footage of Kingston, the shots in the studio are really powerful. (Plus, you get to hear the title tune like 10 times, which was totally fine with me). Also, Cliff happens to be a beautiful man and his impassioned, sweaty studio performance is unshakably memorable.

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