Thursday, November 30, 2006

[1980] RUDE BOY: So I decided that anything that had been on Night Flight was worth watching, and I'm kind of rethinking that after watching Rude Boy. It's an attempt at a documentary-style film where The Clash play themselves and friend-of-Strummer Ray Gange plays aimless youth Ray Gange. I get that they were trying to make some overarching statement about the state of Britain on the eve of Thatcher's ascendancy to the prime ministership, and so there's racist cops and neonazis and anti-neonazis and general malaise. The problem is that the live Clash stuff (both on and off stage) is more entertaining than all of the rest of the film. I think Gange had honest intentions in writing and starring in this thing, but everytime the film cuts to him in the midst of a Clash performance--just to remind us he's in the movie--it starts to look like narcicissm. Especially when his performance is so anti-charismatic; when Strummer asks him at one point what he's going to do with his life Gange is so incoherent and not in a good way that it's almost embarassing. Luckily Strummer launches into "Let The Good Times Roll" solo on the piano right after that, which reenergizes the movie. Yeah--if you plotted the energy of Rude Boy you'd get big peaks where the various Clash members are performing and huge valley when Gange has the movie to himself. So this movie has the rhythm of a sine wave. Huh. But yeah--this one's for the Clashophiles. As the document of its time it was trying to be it's pretty incoherent (and maybe that was on purpose, but it committed the additional sin of being dull.)

No comments: