24 October 2008

Across The Universe


Watched this by accident... it amounts to a Beatles musical, in the same way as Mamma Mia is an Abba one, with a side salad of counter cultural issues (nasty little Janis Joplin rip off sings in bar; everyone smiles through dope smoke and tussles with political change - I didn't even like the original Janis Joplin)...

...emotional signifiers and shorthands abound (some of them work, I'm not a robot yet, still get caught occasionally, against my while with a rousing chorus of All You Need Is Love), people hang around on rooftops, belting out Beatles songs.... timelines are stretched and truncated... psychedelicatessen's emerge at places in time and space that don't seem to fit any established lines of reasoning... characters are, distressingly, called Jude and Sadie and Lucy which has the effect of making you tensely await their song at every given plot turn...

...the idea might have worked but with the Beatles the music can't lend itself to the story, it's too well known to integrate, too lost in it's own cultural baggage to mean anything other... it simply can't be combined with the imagery in a way that makes any difference; there's no jarring, no Max Ernst style loplopping (another film might yet make use of Ernst's surrealistic collage novels as a way out of the mix, making the music Brass rub up against the action in a way that reveals something hidden)

Across The Universe (I thought it was about Laibach, which would have been brilliant; those guys should've been consulted and then insulted) has nothing that doesn't make sense or changes the way you might have thought about the songs...

If only someone attempted this with different music: gangs of anti-war protesters belting out Hanson records podcasts; a bar singalong with Keiji Haino; a bicycle ride through the Detroit riots with The Chap or Gang Gang Dance; the shooting of Martin Luther King to The Ting Tings; grooving in the Cavern to Raglani...

The Chap - They Have A Name (Atlas Sound Remix)

The Chap - I am Oozing Emotion

3 comments:

netlog said...

netlog

turkchat said...

turkchat

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