Gimme Danger

2016 music documentary

Rating: 15/20

Plot: The greatest band ever becomes "victims of their own lack of professionalism."

"I smoked a big joint down by the river and realized I was not black."

I remember the first time I realized how intelligent Iggy Pop was after a long time assuming he was some sort of brain-dead drug casualty. It's probably an easy mistake to make. His lyrics aren't exactly the most literary lyrics in rock and roll, and his stage persona--all shirtless, skeletal writhing and stage diving and flopping, like some sort of de-feathered chicken man--doesn't exactly scream genius. So his intelligence was a surprise to me.

I wasn't surprised that I liked this Jim Jarmusch documentary. Iggy Pop's been in a couple Jarmusch movies, so Jarmusch picking The Stooges as a documentary subject isn't surprising either. And this is a great look at the band from their inception to their downfall and resurgences and through a current musical landscape where they continue to be influential. Jarmusch's style is a little more fervent than you might expect. There's plenty of concert footage showing The Stooges at the height of their combined powers, and there's lots of interviews with the living members. And lots of Iggy, of course.

It's a great look at an influential yet still criminally underrated band, both for the initiated or for people who don't know them. My favorite bits were about Iggy Pop's prowess as a drummer, how influential Cowboy Bob was on the front man, footage of the great Harry Partch, and details of a phone call to Moe to get permission to call themselves Stooges.

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