Tuesday, June 17, 2003

KILLING A ROLL

A Video Review of "Under the Cherry Moon"

Copyright 2002 Glenn Walker

Under the Cherry Moon is horrible. Keep in mind that I love Prince. I have all his albums and have seen him in concert a few times. He is the sugar. But he made a horrible second film.

It's about a gigolo played by the purple one trying to romance a woman in France who wants nothing to do with him. Prince is surrounded by his usual entourage including his back-up band the Revolution. While the music is superior and the non-soundtrack (he released an album at the same time that included songs from Under the Cherry Moon) that accompanied the film is dazzling the flick itself is abominable.

The one thing that stands out above all other terrors in this mess is, to borrow a phrase from Prince's protoges The Time, what time is it? When does this film take place? It appears to be turn of the century France but includes rock and roll and other modern references. It stinks of Moulin Rouge but somehow isn't quite that bad.

In 1984 Prince was on a roll. He had a hit movie and a hit album with Purple Rain and its soundtrack. The purple one was riding high and perhaps he didn't like it. You could blame it on him being a misunderstood artistic genius but I think it goes deeper. I think he was subconsciously afraid of success, especially mainstream success. If you know any tortured artist types you know exactly what I'm talking about. They will do anything to avoid mainstream success even if it means sabotaging their career.

Witness Under the Cherry Moon. How do you end a roll? Here's a quick guide, courtesy of Prince. Believe that you know what the public wants and what is good for it. Make an art film. Use black and white film. Fill it so full of your own personal philosophy that everyone else will choke on it. Call it Under the Cherry Moon.

Yep, that will kill a roll. Hell, it might just kill a movie career. Good move, Prince, nice knowing you.


No comments:

Post a Comment