Monday, October 24, 2016
As uninterested as usual in preaching to the uncool, Jim Jarmusch aims Gimme Danger straight at the hearts of those who already love, or at least appreciate, his good friend Iggy Pop. The filmmaker declares at the start of the documentary that Iggy and the Stooges were “the greatest rock and roll band ever,” but makes little effort to back up that claim, never interviewing critics or other musicians for officially sanctioned opinions or offering much in the way of analysis about what made the group's music so special.
Jarmusch relies almost entirely on Iggy, his surviving bandmates, and a few people who knew them well to lay out a chronological history of Iggy's musical development as a boy, a young man, and an adult who carved a defiantly “unprofessional” yet impactful musical career out of raw talent, charm, voraciously curious intelligence, and a seemingly bottomless well of impish energy. The film also makes a case for the influence the Stooges had on many bands that followed, crediting Iggy with being the father of punk rock.
Gimme Danger derives much of its appeal from Iggy himself—or “Jim Osterberg as Iggy Pop,” as he's listed in the credits, presumably because he's bemused or reflective here rather than playing the pumped-up performance monkey who invented crowd surfing and often showed up to performances so high he could barely remember his own lyrics. His gymnast's body folded gracefully into a chair, Iggy emanates the effortless cool of a man confident enough to laugh at himself, and at the often colorful, sometimes absurd situations he got himself into as a young man. Read the rest in Slant Magazine