Saturday, July 23, 2011

David Bowie - Absolute Beginners




With thanks to the Rev Kook and others, I refer you to the comments below for a clip from the title song and some scenes from the movie which features this and other jazz and pop songs.

29 comments:

  1. Oh well, I'll try again later. Sorry.

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  2. Newp, still isn't playing for me. I have no idea why not,but for some reason I can't play any videos on Multiply, for awhile now.

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  3. Now I'm having problems posting on here too. I think I'm getting an invitation to leave! lol

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  4. Is ok, I found it on youtube. Thanks, I'm a big fan of his.

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  5. Love that song. Here's a nice live version.

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  6. That happened to me when I tried to upload a YouTube video to Multiply yesterday.
    I don't know this David Bowie song Doug, I liked it though and I was also impressed by the medium sized venue, somehow it didn't look quite real.

    It looks like Bowie is playing the part of a rock star in a film with actors playing the audience as well.

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  7. I was a David Bowie fan. still am, I guess. "Spiders from Mars" is my favourite album.

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  8. Sorry Doug this wouldn't play. The same thing happened to a loading I did late last night. I had to embed it in comments. Arrrrgh.

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  9. Like aaran, I hadn't heard this song of David Bowie's although I listen to his music I somehow missed this one. Thank you Doug.

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  10. Super song, classic Bowie! Off to You Tube to hear it, hehe

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  11. I'm glad you could find this Jacquie. I thought I had deleted this video because it didn't come up. It appears people are helping me post it anyway, for which I am grateful.

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  12. Multiply must be going through its share of frustrations, AA. I'm starting to wonder if the site is actually run by the US Congress! ;-)

    The movie clips are from a film about late 50's London called, appropriately, 'Absolute Beginners', a 1986 musical by Julian Fellows that never found an audience in the USA or perhaps in the UK.

    (I'm one of its few fans as far as I know.) The soundtrack is spectacular and had a great number of musicians (Bowie, Sade, Style Council, Ray Davies, Slim Galliard, et al.) Bowie plays an advertising man in the film, as I recall.

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  13. Me too Jeff. I always liked his Top 40 songs more than any one album.

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  14. It's certainly frustrating Cassandra.

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  15. "Absolute Beginners" was a musical movie just opened and died in a week back in '86 -at least in the USA---so I'm not surprised few people had heard this tune. I remember sitting in a big first-run theater in Berkeley, California one Saturday night with all of 6 people in the place, which indicated to me it was supposed to be a big film! Somebody lost a brick of money on this one, which was a shame.

    Whatever the critics thought about the dramatic and romantic plot elements , it's got some great music in it.

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  16. A good move Oakie. Multiply hath let me down.

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  17. Here's a bit of the flavor of "Absolute Beginners" from a trailer:


    http://youtu.be/FZFR4r1vN-I

    And a clip:

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  18. For some background, I call once again on the indispensible Wikipedia:

    "Absolute Beginners is a 1986 British rock musical film adapted from the Colin MacInnes book of the same name about life in late 1950s London. The film was directed by Julien Temple, featured David Bowie and Sade, and a breakout role by Patsy Kensit. The film was screened out of competition at the 1986 Cannes Film Festival.
    "Upon its release on April 18, 1986, Absolute Beginners received immense coverage in the British media. At the time, the British film industry was perceived as being on the point of collapse (with the recent failure of the film Revolution). However, the movie was panned by critics and became a box office flop. Some of the criticisms included stylistic anachronisms, such as the mini-skirt and decidedly 1980s music from the likes of the Style Council and Sade, the bowdlerisation of Kensit's character (Crepe Suzette had been depicted as a promiscuous negrophile in the book), and the casting of Bowie, who made it a condition of his musical contribution.

    "Absolute Beginners has subsequently gained status as a cult movie, in part due to its soundtrack. Some people compare the movie as the British equivalent of Streets of Fire, a 1984 American movie that was a retro-stylized rock movie with a notable soundtrack, also a commercial failure."

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  19. I had no idea it was from a movie. I'll have to download it.

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  20. Yes, interesting how Bowie, the biggest name associated with the film was not the star in the film. The young man who played Colin (A Bowie-a-like) went on to have a fairly mediocre acting career playing supporting roles in soap operas, usual as a police officer. This despite a promising debut in a stylish pop-film.
    Patsy Kensit's career went the other way, to the point where she play opposite Mel Gibson in one of the Lethal Gun movies. Though she also played roles in some pretty decent none Hollywood films. She's now a soap-opera star. Her dad was a bonafide London gangster.

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  21. It's worth a look I think, Rev. It popped up on cable a couple times and I was impressed by the music. It incorporate well in the story ( Sade cameo in a nighclub singing "Killer Blow", about drug abuse) and all songs overall are above average.

    The overall style of the film makes it quite entertaining. And they just don't make typewriters you can dance on anymore!

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  22. Ever see "Man Who Fell To Earth"?

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  23. That one I haven't seen. I have no good excuse for not seeing it, either.

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  24. Yeah, I wondered about a stronger lead making a difference in the film with the public. Honestly can't remember his name even. As for David Bowie, he always seemed like a guy who would score a big film career if he got the right parts.

    There's a lot of ex- film people who wind up in Soap Operas. Lesley-Anne Downe is in one over here.

    So Patsy Kensit's dad is or was a gangster, eh? Wonder if that "opened doors" for her in show business?
    Thanks for the info Oakie.

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  25. Yes, Lesley-Anne Down is in something awful isn't she? she seems to have given up acting 30 years ago and settled for that instead. Hehe!
    I suppose Dallas and Dynasty really started the old film star to soap star trend. Personally I think soap opera's indicate the beginning and end of an actor's career.
    Glad Michael Caine never did one.

    Maybe the lad, O'Connell, or O'Donnell, I think his name was, was supposed to play his role in an understated way, as everything else in the film was colourful, ostentatious pop and he was in the middle of all that as a character.
    There is no doubting Bowie's prescence on film though.

    Whilst Patsy's dad was a bit of a geezer, her mum was apparently wonderful and they kept that dark side of things away from the kids. However, she did seem to get on the London scene quite quickly so there may have been the odd "uncle" who put in a good word for her, though that's a guess on my part.
    She was actually in a pop band when she got the role in the film and she has put in some decent performances in her films. She also seems like a really nice lady as well, if her interviews are anything to go by.

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  26. Hi Doug, I read the book in the early 80s when Paul Weller was telling anyone who'd listen. It's not the best if the London trilogy in my opinion, but it is definitely the most well known.

    There was a big jazz movement in London just before the film came out and we all had big hopes for it, but ultimately I think it was a bit too stylised and glossy. To me this is the best example I have of a film not capturing the book, with only Colin really doing a reasonable job

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  27. Yes, suffice to say Ms. Down has "come down a bit" in the business, in something called "Bold and the Beautiful". I remember seeing bits and pieces of those nighttime soaps and was struck to see Kim Novak and other former A-stars coming to play roles in them.

    On the other hand, Joan Collins totally reignted her career in "Dynasty" in the early 80's. She became a household name, something she had never achieved in the second-leads she often had in US films earlier.

    Bowie was well cast in this film.

    Michael Caine is a seemingly amiable guy on chat shows. A Cockney lad who made good! I'm glad he's remained mainly a feature film guy.

    Eddie O'Connell I guess is his name and, yes, I think you're right, Oakie. He had to be understated.

    Nice to know Patsy Kensit doesn't come across as a spoiled mob princess. :-)

    I did see her later in a version of Henry James "Turn of the Screw" as the governess and I thought she did the part well. She has a good song of her own in this film, "Having it All" with Eighth Wonder as her backup band.

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  28. Yes, I didn't realize it was part of a trilogy until I downloaded the recent info that appears here, Ian.

    Stylized and glossy I agree, Ian. Your remarks make me want to have a look at the book.

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