Thursday, February 7, 2013
A gritty, glamorous street story of two 14 year old girls- one the quiet daughter of a politician, the other a loudmouth rock n' roll runaway, hip to the downtown vibe- who meet under compromised circumstances, only to escape into the wild nights and begging days of New York City, when such things ran the smashed up kids of lost teenage desire. The girls spend their days creating and dreaming of a universe where they- The Sleaze Sisters- will set the youth free through music and madness, away from the stronghold of adult directives. The girls become entangled with a midnight DJ- who spends his airtime baiting the kids who listen to his show, dishing out observations on the nasty nights of New York City night crawlers, reading aloud desperate letters from his minions, doling out suggestion in a sinister, self righteous tone. The girls perform on his show, and become a hot sensation- eventually putting on an event in Times Square that attracts all form of teenage malcontent, dressed in garbage bags and dark make up. Roxy Music, The Ramones, The Pretenders, Suzi Quatro, and Gary Numan are among the many cool as a motherfucker rock n' roll bands featured on the soundtrack, and The Sleaze Sisters themselves produce one of the film's best bits- where they perform a great little punk song "Damn Dog," at a strip club, also included on the record. Time's Square captures a time and place far since washed away from today's preconditioned hard sell, the days when finding yourself was a common commodity- a way of being so important you'd runaway from home just to do it, fuck conformity and projection- freedom is the only cause worth a dollar or dime.
Saturday, February 2, 2013
This is a bleak, minimalist, harsh tale of an English skinhead, hell bent on creating criminal chaos at every turn- malcontent, sneering- a constant threat written on his face, daring everyone and anyone in his sight lines to challenge his rage. After being tossed around various juvenile facilities, our protagonist is sent to the last place before Borstal- a sort of half way house, in which councilors try to reach these kids before a full on meltdown occurs, directing them towards a life away from the streets and into the more quiet, steady hum of working Britain. Yet Trevor, the skinhead in question- so full of anger, so mad at the world, so disgusted by the authority figures and rules and regulations, lashes out in retaliation of his right to do just that. Time and time again Trevor is told how best to save himself, and time and time again Trevor punches straight through, refusing to play by any rules but his own. There is a prickly, nattering violence underscoring this film, as Trevor draws the viewer into his feral confrontations- an obstinate brat, a loudmouth, a brutish, bludgeoning teenage nasty- the manifestation of a dystopian world view, a cynicism and hubris of volcanic proportions. Made In Britain is not so much fun, nor should it be- the pleasure in watching something of such callous extremity the ride itself- a full throttle, scream at the world youth movie, overflowing with the confusion and emotional misery only life at 16 provides.