I Saw A Film!

A bit of a dual film glued together at the seams and mainly fascinating because of the fact that it stars possibly the best known rock and roll front-man of the age.

The first thirty or forty minutes are a crime drama. James Fox plays Michael Caine playing a British thug working for “The Business”, a kind of crime syndicate that is doing something I can’t quite fathom, and doesn’t seem really worth struggling for. There are beatings and bleedings and pistols (those inevitable crutches of bad storytellers).

Shit goes south and Fox is forced to hide-out, he gets very lucky as he overhears a musician blathering about what he owes in back rent and how he’s been forced to get out to make the scratch to pay for the place. Our protagonist, with dyed red hair now (incognito) makes his way to the abode and drops a wad of cash on the lovely Anita Pallenburg to secure the bohemian London flat. I can’t help a sense memory at this stage of the game, a combination of patchouli oil, fried baloney and b.o. Incidentally, the apartment shared by the actual Rolling Stones just before their success was rumored to be a squalor, apparently either Mick or Keef had opportunity to visit the famous abode fairly recently, to possibly commemorate it–I don’t know the whole story, but the fellows were quite certain it was the filthiest thing in existence.

Soon enough Mr. Jagger pops in and tries to toss our new lodger out. He’s not happy having the fellow there, but as our thug insists politely and maintains he’s an artist (a juggler who never has to show a stitch of his art) Jagger relents. I can’t remember any of their names in the film, and they don’t seem particularly important. Suffice it to say a rather affable relationship seems to blossom between Jagger’s former rockstar self and this hiding mobster pretending to be a juggler. There’s a forth character sharing the lushly decorated home, and at first I thought she was a he (and this is even remarked on in the film) but she’s a pixie-like freckled skinny thing that frolics with Jagger and Pallenburg in their endless bedroom. The entire home seems like one large bedroom. A bit of a fantasy of Persian style tapestry and carpeting. I rather envy it.

Much of the following is just the quartet writing on the furnishings and feeding one another on mushrooms (I’m something of an amateur expert and this part was somewhat curious, I saw a little box of rather ugly mushrooms I suppose we were supposed to imagine they grew, highly unlikely, and we see Pallenburg fussing about in a garden lifting what looks like a proper Amanita muscaria). Fox is soon ill and arguing that he’s been poisoned at one point, but seems to recover fine.

Most of the sexy scenes are done tastefully, and somewhat uniquely relying mostly on boobs and closeups of faces. AT one point Pallenburg is challenging Fox about his sexuality, and he insists that he’s a normal man, manly, a man! This causes her peels of laughter and disappointment, and further opportunities to tease him as he wears a wig.

Jagger’s music video sequences is striking, having never seen him made up or slicked back like that I was stunned to realize how much he resembles that famous singer . . . what’s his name. You know the one I mean, I can’t freaking come up with the name at the moment. Nearly unrecognizable. Much of the music is also bluesy slide guitar obviously provided by Ry Cooder. And that stuff is well worth the visit.

We know this play time is likely limited for our characters and unfortunately the gang arrives to take our protagonist away. I won’t give you any further details on this ending but I’d have liked a different finale. It always seems directors feel the need to out muscle one another on these things, and I wish it weren’t treated as a sport.

All in all a fun film I’d only heard about for ages available on Prime for two dollars.

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