Sometimes grace and hope come in surprising packages. The title character of Hedwig and the Angry Inch, a would-be glam-rock star from East Germany, undergoes a botched gender-change operation in order to escape from the Soviet bloc, only to watch the Berlin Wall come down on TV after being abandoned in a trailer park in middle America. Hedwig gets involved with Tommy, an adolescent boy who steals her songs and becomes a stadium-filling musical act. Suffering from a broken heart and a lust for revenge, Hedwig follows Tommy's tour, playing with her band (the Angry Inch) at tacky theme restaurants. Into this simple storyline, writer-director-star John Cameron Mitchell packs an astonishing mix of sadness, yearning, humor, and kick-ass songs with a little Platonic philosophy tucked inside for good measure. A visually dazzling gem of a movie. --Bret Fetzer
It is clear that I must find my other half. But is it a he or a she? What does this person look like? Identical to me? Or somehow complimentary? Does my other half have what I don't? Did he get the looks? The luck? The love? Were we really separated forceably or did he just run off with the good stuff? Or did I? Will this person embarass me? What about sex? Is that how we put ourselves back together again? Or can two people actually become one again?
Our apartment was so small, that mother made me play in the oven. Late at night I would listen to the voices of the American masters, Tony Tennille, Debby Boone, Anne Murray who was actually a Canadian working in the American idiom. And then there were the crypto-homo rockers: Lou Reed, Iggy Pop, David Bowie who was actually an idiom working in America and Canada. These artists, they left as deep an impression on me as that oven rack did on my face. To be an American in muskrat love, soft as an easy chair not even the chair, I am I said, have I never been mellow? And the colored girls sing... doo do doo do doo do doo... but never with the melody. How could I do it better than Tony or Lou... HEY BOY, TAKE A WALK ON THE WILD SIDE!
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