Monday, 28 November 2016

REVIEW - GIMME DANGER (JIM JARMUSCH)


If, even by the standards of an American indie film scene defined by those traditions that he himself rewrote, Jim Jarmusch has never been one to knowingly eschew danger, it might seem peculiar that he'd finally abandon it in Gimme Danger, his prosaic portrait of The Stooges. Of all the times to go soft, a profile of this most hard-edged of rock bands would surely strike no-one as the most appropriate. Jarmusch's uncharacteristic directness, and Iggy Pop's clarity and vibrancy as a subject, concordantly maintain an enlightening documentary that supplies insight on a level that few similar docs achieve. And that's valuable, not least in the face of what Jarmusch must sacrifice in return - directness and clarity in a Jim Jarmusch film? ...About The Stooges? Gimme Danger's most potent moments occur when either interviewer or interviewee permits the odd digression or abstraction, and at last we're treated to at least the suggestion of the artistic mastery that such a collaboration promises. 'At last' may be the wrong terminology, though - Gimme Danger expends much of its energy early on, eventually settling into a tiresome slideshow of talking heads and hazy recollections, with Jarmusch's desire to cover the maximum possible ground deflecting most potential opportunities for meaningful commentary, whether on his behalf or on his subjects'. Alas, isn't this too often the case when old men assemble to reminisce upon the past? The result is usually far from dangerous - it's dull.