Gimme Danger Review

stooges-gimme-danger-documentary

New Film by Jim Jarmusch

“Gimme Danger,”

A Documentary About Iggy Pop
and the Stooges, by Jim Jarmusch (108 min)

Rock ‘n’ roll does not lend itself to sober accounts well removed from the heat of the moment. Nor does it bury its dead. As a band fueled by raw exuberance, the Stooges crashed and died in the arms of their critics and fans by their third album, “Raw Power.”
Years later they seemed to come back to even greater acclaim. This idea for a film on the band came at one of those moments of popular reprise. Iggy Pop, no stranger to Jim Jarmusch’s style, and an occasional actor in his films (“Coffee and Cigarettes,” “Dead Man”) broached the topic with the eclectic filmmaker, during a Stooges revival tour in 2008.
Iggy Pop and Jim Jarmusch have been good friends for the last twenty-five years, though Jarmusch’s adulation for The Stooges goes beyond friendship. As he comments about the band–“No other band in rock ‘n’ roll history has rivaled the Stooges’ combination of heavy primal throb, spiked psychedelia, blues-a-billy grind, complete with succinct angst-ridden lyrics and a snarling preening leopard of a front man who somehow embodies Nijinsky, Bruce Lee, Harpo Marx and Arthur Rimbaud.” In another moment Jarmusch hails them as “rock and roll’s greatest band ever.”
This film is a part biography of Iggy Pop, the main character in the telling of the story, but it seems to his celebrated solo career, where he had his greatest commercial success. Still, enough of The Stooges is enough, and Iggy holds the narrative together like mayonnaise on a sandwich.
Jarmusch lets Pop conduct the flow of the conversation, with his bandmates, Ron Asheton, Scott Asheton, James Williamson, Steve Mackay, and Mike Watt, given their moment to shine as well. Most of them are gone, but Jarmusch was able to catch all of his early cohorts, even such influencers like the lead singer of the MC5 Wayne Kramer, and their manager and White Panther founder John Sinclair. (One exception – Stooges bassist Dave Alexander who passed away in 1975).
We see his Iggy in review – born Jim Osterberg, son of a Cadillac-driving, high school English teacher and coach, growing up in a trailer park in Ypsilanti, Michigan, where he played drums in the living room of his family’s mobile home. He had a great relationship with his parents, although we don’t hear much about his mother. Osterberg says.
“They helped me explore anything I was interested in. This culminated in their evacuation from the master bedroom in the trailer, because that was the only room big enough for my drum kit. They gave me their bedroom.”
Through an expert use of live footage from the era—including some amazing segments filmed by Loni Sinclair, John Sinclair’s wife–interviews with band mates, short cuts from 60’s TV shows, and stop action animation, the director and his talented crew kept the action of the story’s history moving.
Pop playing in the frat band Iguanas, where he got his name; appearing at the teen dance club The Ponytail–his drumming in blues-oriented The Prime Movers; a brief sojourn at the University of Michigan; meeting the Asheton brothers, his co-creators of The Stooges, originally called the Psychedelic Stooges.
At his cusp of his bandhood, Iggy was impressed by the energy of the bands he saw in Ann Arbor and Detroit. Not only the MC5 but also national acts like the Jim Morrison and the Doors, the Sonics — and ‘black’ acts — Bo Diddley, James Brown, Chuck Berry and Muddy Waters. And one of the biggest at that time, at least in the Midwest, was the Paul Butterfield Blues Band. In a meeting with Mike Bloomfield, bassist for the band Iggy was told: “’If you want to learn to play [the blues’, you have to go to Chicago.” So he went and gigged with the likes of James Cotton and Johnny Young when they went to the ‘white’ suburbs.
No British Invasion for him. He was dedicated to recreating the sound and the mood of the ‘real’ blues he discovered in the smoky gin mills of Chicago’s South and West Sides. Which ironically enough was the motivation for much of the British Invasion.
The MC5 played a crucial role in the recording career of The Stooges. When Danny Fields, who was working for Elektra Records at the time, flew out to Michigan to hear them live, he also heard the Stooges, a local band the MC5 were raving about. The Stooges also got signed to Elektra and they dropped the adjective psychedelic from their name.
Ron Asheton called up Moe of the Three Stooges to ask for their permission to use ‘The Stooges’ as the band’s name. Moe replied that he didn’t care what the fuck they called the band as long as they didn’t call it The Three Stooges!
Interesting factoid. Leni Sinclair, the wife of John Sinclair, manager of the MC5 and one of the founders of the White Panther Party, shot much of the footage included in the film.
One reviewer notes, “Iggy’s so chill he does half of his talking heads next to a washer and dryer, while guitarist-turned-producer-turned-engineer-turned-guitarist James Williamson files his from what looks like a public restroom.”
There is much good to say about “Gimme Danger,” and I can’t think of a single bad thing to say about it.
Last question—when is Please Kill Me: The Uncensored Oral History of Punk – by Legs McNeil and Gillian McCain — which has one of the best recollections of early Iggy and The Stooges I have ever read — going to be made into a movie?
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Justice Ruth Ginzburg on Donald Trump

What do you think of Donald Trump

From CNN–Justice Ginsburg on Donald Trump–

“Washington (CNN)Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s well-known candor was on display in her chambers late Monday, when she declined to retreat from her earlier criticism of Donald Trump and even elaborated on it.

“He is a faker,” she said of the presumptive Republican presidential nominee, going point by point, as if presenting a legal brief. “He has no consistency about him. He says whatever comes into his head at the moment. He really has an ego. … How has he gotten away with not turning over his tax returns? The press seems to be very gentle with him on that.”

“Time for us to move to New Zealand,” Ginsburg told the New York Times’s Adam Liptak, in a joking remark she said she borrowed from her late husband. A Trump presidency, she went on, would be too horrible to contemplate: “I can’t imagine what [the Supreme Court] would be — I can’t imagine what the country would be — with Donald Trump as our president.”

Ginsburg also told Liptak that the Senate should promptly consider President Obama’s nomination of Judge Merrick Garland to replace her friend Antonin Scalia on the court. “That’s their job,” she said. “There’s nothing in the Constitution that says the president stops being president in his last year.”

But that’s not all. She said that Garland “is about as well qualified as any nominee to this court. Super bright and very nice, very easy to deal with. And super prepared. He would be a great colleague.”

To be fair, some — including the Los Angeles Times editorial page — have argued that it would be legitimate for Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr. to call on the Senate to act on the Garland nomination.

Note:
“Donald Trump called Wednesday for Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg to resign for saying publicly that she feels he is unfit to be President.

“Lashing out, Trump said the 83-year-old justice’s ‘mind is shot.’ ” — New York Times, July 13, 2016

“Justice Ginsburg of the U.S. Supreme Court has embarrassed all by making very dumb political statements about me,” the presumptive Republican presidential nominee wrote in an early morning tweet on @realDonaldTrump. ‘Her mind is shot — resign!’ “

From various sources on the Internet.

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Hurricane Street, by Ron Kovic – Review by Kirkus

Kirkus Review: Hurricane Street

hurricanstreet

The author of Born on the Fourth of July (1976) recounts the brief 1974 movement he initiated to change how Veterans Affairs hospitals cared for wounded soldiers.

“Kovic (Around the World in Eight Days, 1984, etc.) returned from the Vietnam War in the early 1970s paralyzed from his chest down. Insomnia, anxiety, depression, bedsores, and lack of sexual function also tormented him. During his stay in VA hospitals located in the Bronx and Long Beach, he observed that the “wards were overcrowded and terribly understaffed”; when bed-ridden soldiers called for help, none came. Kovic began to discuss his situation with other patients and soon realized that the poor treatment he had witnessed was a universal problem that cried out for reform. In the spring of 1973, he organized a group called the Patients’/Workers’ Rights Committee, which was a success among young Vietnam veterans but became the bête noire of older vets and hospital administrators. The group fell apart after Kovic went home to New York; it received new life after he returned to Southern California that fall. At that time, the author created the American Veterans Movement and began looking for ways to publicize the plight of wounded veterans at the national level. His search led him to the idea of occupying California senator Alan Cranston’s office with other AVM members. The sit-in quickly developed into a two-week hunger strike in which veterans demanded a meeting with Donald Johnson, the head of the Veterans Administration. Kovic and his fellow veterans succeeded in making the changes they sought, but the AVM spiraled into chaos afterward, disbanding a few months later after an unsuccessful Independence Day march on Washington. The great strength of this book is that the author never minces words. With devastating candor, he memorializes a short-lived but important movement and the men who made it happen.

“Sobering reflections on past treatment of America’s injured war veterans.”

Review is at: https://www.kirkusreviews.com/book-reviews/ron-kovic/hurricane-street/.

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