In spite of not being explicitly autobiographical, Alan Parker‘s 1982 film Pink Floyd – The Wall is among the best musical portraits this writer can think of. Being a heavily-faithful adaptation of the band’s classic rock opera, it, too, uses the story of a burned-out, mentally scarred rock star as the mirror image of its own author — a burned-out, mentally scarred rock star — managing to expand its canvas to look at the failed cultural and societal construction of post-World War II England. How do you express that? A mixture of live-action and animation, the latter of which allows for penetration-like interaction between a pair of flowers (that ensue to bloodily devour one another), heads being bashed in, and a final moral judge bearing a peculiar anatomic construction.
Basically, Pink Floyd – The Wall is a little heavier than Walk the Line. If you’re going to do a musical biopic in its vein, you need to find the sort of subject who befits a beloved, suicidal artist secluded in isolation — to which Kurt Cobain applies. Leave it to Brett Morgen to make an own attempt at the Alan Parker approach. The man behind a recent Rolling Stones documentary, Crossfire Hurricane, spoke to NME about his plans for a Courtney Love-approved biopic that’s more than just a womb-to-tomb portrait (who said Cloud Atlas brought us nothing?), and seemingly different from other attempts at a portrayal. The goal, here, is to show Cobain in all his dimensions — what the director labels as “sincere and sentimental, and also ironic and sarcastic [...] sweet and sour [and] incredibly funny” — which, in his mind, will require two modes of delivery.
By combining live-action and animation, it’s Morgen‘s intent to create “this generation’s The Wall,” a portrait that will open new dimensions to the Nirvana frontman. Hearing him talk about it a little further, it’s easier to understand just why (if not how) he would go that route: they’ve been handed the full cooperation of his estate, and are now granted much of his unseen work — “a treasure chest of comic books, paintings, Super8 films, all sorts.” So, now, they need to get everyone in place if there’s a true intent to make the 2014 release. That’s what Morgen has in mind; knowing his ambitious thoughts, I hope he can make it that soon.
In the meantime, go watch The Wall if you’ve yet to already. Please.
Do you see promise in a Cobain biopic that takes its cues from The Wall?
Since any New York City cinephile has a nearly suffocating wealth of theatrical options, we figured it’d be best to compile some of the more worthwhile repertory showings into one handy list. Displayed below are a few of the city’s most reliable theaters and links to screenings of their weekend offerings — films you’re not […]
Every week we dive into the cream of the crop when it comes to home releases, including Blu-ray and DVDs, as well as recommended deals of the week. Check out our rundown below and return every Tuesday for the best (or most interesting) films one can take home. Note that if you’re looking to support […]
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