Sunday, July 25, 2004
"Ladies and Gentlemen..."
It's a poorly hidden fact that I am possessed of an addictive personality. Indeed, as I reflect back on my life thus far, it can be fairly accurately described as a series of obsessions supplanting obsessions. This affects nearly every aspect of my life, but settles most heavily on romance and entertainment. For brevity's sake I won't get into the former, but the latter is where the following project stems out of.
In no way do I consider it odd to have a series of entertainment obsessions. Most people in American and British culture have experienced some form of this in their lives. Mine have been fairly typical: toys, cartoons, comic books, and music, with movies running constant throughout. But there are levels of obsession, and I think that I'm up there near the top. From the start, I was into collections: stuffed animals, baseball cards, 32 oz. plastic cups, bottle caps, McDonalds Happy Meal toys, comic books again, and now music.
The exciting - and sometimes frustrating - part of being a music fan is that just having the CD is rarely enough. The real fan wants every bit of ephemera he or she can get their hands on: books, import singles, posters, t-shirts, stickers, bath soap. The fan that is really lucky is into an artist with such mass appeal that the Hollywood powers that be decide to give them their own movie. A movie, starring the musician, with music by the musician, and somewhat based on that musician's own life experience. Could there be a project more ego-based than this? Could there be a project any more likely to fulfill a fan's obsessions?
So this is where I come in. One fateful day, after partaking of Prince's baffling 1991 film Graffiti Bridge, I felt the need to put my confusion and bewilderment to paper. From there, of course, compulsion took hold, and I decided that it would be a worthwhile venture to watch as many music-related films as possible, and to write about each and every one.
It took some research and whittling to get a suitable list. I work off the criteria bolded above for the majority of the films. However, the biographical ego-project may be the most compelling of all forms of music movies, but it is not the only one. I will also be dabbling in other categories, including concert films, documentaries, regular movies starring musicians, biopics starring other actors or musicians, and films about fictional bands or musicians.
I plan to publish one new review per week until I run out of them. The first review will be up very soon, and the title of this post is a clue as to what that film might be. Any guesses?
As you'll see, the field of music movies is full of land mines. Allow me to be your guide.