Passing Strange

PhotobucketPhotobucketFlashy filmed performance of a Broadway stage play.  Set in the late 1970s, a young black musician rebels against his church-going, middle-class, South Central roots by traveling the world in an effort to experience something “real” in life.  Los Angeles performance artist Stew narrates what is essentially a concert trip through a dizzying number of musical styles that touch upon gospel, punk, blues, jazz, and rock.  The  ubiquitous score is excellent, but it’s surrounded by an incredibly stagy artifice with a noticeable lack of sets, that feels overly avant-garde.  We’re constantly reminded that this is a filmed play.  Even the acting is affected and unnatural.  The passion felt by those who were in attendance in that theater is not the same emotion felt as a viewer watching it on a screen.  Brilliantly catchy songs include: “Love Like That”, “Amsterdam” and “We Just Had Sex”.

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One Response to “Passing Strange”

  1. magnolia12883 Says:

    If you know Mark that this film is my favorite film of 2009 and on my decade’s best list, would it surprise you if I respectfully disagree? This film is artificial in its construct, sure, but its heart is there in spades and it pulls me in from the beginning to the end, I find myself singing the songs as I walk down the street, and the story is specific and yet universal. Love it. Does for black youth what HEDWIG AND THE ANGRY INCH does for transgender/gays

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