Film review: GIMME DANGER, from ‘Built For Speed’

Gimme Danger is Jim Jarmusch’s sensational documentary about the real godfathers of punk The Stooges.

With Iggy pop’s distinctive voice infusing the film as a simultaneous interviewee and narrator, Gimme Danger reveals the band’s tumultuous birth in late 60’s Detroit, their flirtation with stardom in the early 70’s, their battles with critical and record company indifference and their descent into a drug-fuelled chaos and eventual implosion.  More importantly, though, as the film reveals the band made some of the most explosive, confronting and influential music in rock, the shock waves of which still resonate to this day.

Jarmusch strikes a fine balance between a serious and comprehensive appraisal of The Stooges’ career and a funny even bizarre representation of the band’s image and attitude; the latter achieved through cut-up style fever dream visuals that capture the band’s craziness and dangerous energy.

Jim Jarmusch’s fiction films are usually known for their languid pace but appropriately, this documentary tears along at a furious speed much like a chemical-fuelled Iggy on stage.

While a lot of the focus is on Iggy the film gives due credit to the other founding members Scott and Ron Asheton, original bassist Dave Alexander and later guitarist and Silicon Valley suit James Williamson.

Funny, exciting and filled with great music, this film also leaves us feeling a little sad that there’s no one quite like the young Iggy in music anymore and that the world is just too constrained by commercial imperatives to allow that sort of craziness…but you never know.

Screening at: Cinema Nova.

Nick’s rating: ****.

Genre: Music documentary.

Classification: M.

Director(s): Jim Jarmusch.

Release date: 26th December 2016.

Running time: 108 mins.

Reviewer: Nick Gardener can be heard on “Built For Speed” every Friday night from 8-10pm right here on 88.3 Southern FM.  Nick can also be heard on “The Good, The Bad, The Ugly Film Show” podcast.


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