Released next March, just after the January release of Adam Ant’s long awaited new album of the same title, this is the perfect companion piece that will detail the atmosphere in which the new recordings were put together and the mindset that was required to pull off such an audacious comeback.
We got a sneak preview of the film and it looks great. It was also great to hear some of the new songs off the upcoming album and be reminded of how good they sounded.
Rock n roll films come in all shapes and sizes and mostly they are redundant exercises. Dull Hollywood romps or mind numbing biopics they give little idea of the frenzied genius that lies at the heart of the good and holy stuff.
Every now and then, though, something clicks and they really work and this is one of those films.
I guess you are not going to fail with Adam Ant in full imperious form running around as the epicentre of this fly on the wall documentary. The film follows his much vaunted comeback and is directed by the legendary Jack Bond, whose catalogue includes the 1965 classic about Salvador Dali as well as other pop culture classics.
In turns the film is energetic, driven, artful and quite dangerous as it adheres to the sex, style and subversion code that dominated the real meaning of early punk and much of Adam’s work. It’s a riveting watch for its near two hour length as it follows its subject matter around as he careers around London and Paris harnessing his muse and meeting a wildly fluctuating cast of characters and whose head is full of ides and quips and a determination for perfection.
They don’t make them like this any more…they really don’t.
Most modern pop stars are neat and tidy cuddly toys destined for a couple of years in the Cowell trough and then decades working in a burger joint. Adam Ant was the biggest star in the UK in the early eighties- a one man psychodrama- whose hit songs were cinematic slices of pure genius as well as a back catalogue of twisted vignettes that were so ahead of the game that mainstream media didn’t get them.
It’s the songs and the creator’s cinematic quality that makes this film so appealing. As soon as he strides on screen Adam owns it. He never dresses down and talks endlessly through a haze of smoke and it’s this fizzing personality that is captured so perfectly by the Jack Bond giving an insight into the hectic 24/7 life of Adam as he prepares to hit the road again in his astonishing comeback.
This film is a life in fast forward, a blur of images and ideas from one of the most fascinating pop stars this country has every produced. It shows Adam Ant rushing through life with a head full of ideas and strong opinions. The pop star who came back from the brink and pulled off a comeback that was not relying on dumb nostalgia or tired plodding through the hits, you will need some energy to keep up with the Antman.
Scene after scene is dominated by Adam as he careers through life, machine gunning ideas and concepts, the terminator rock n roller creating a new canvas to paint on.
Your author even manages to end up in the film, filmed in the kitchen of Adams flat during a hectic interview after asking if I could hear a couple of tracks off the new album and getting to hear the whole lot.
It was a great afternoon.
The album sounded excellent and the three songs on the soundtrack are a great reminder of how strong the new material sounds- tough tunes with great vocals that detail incidents in Adams life and how they affect him.
The kitchen shot is typical of the film. Adam’s life is full on. Every minute there is something going on. Jack Bond spent a year following Adam around with his cameras. The subject matter was a gift for the film maker, not only does he look great- the last of the English dandies in a rush of tri-corn hats and rock n roll finery, he talks non stop, with a head full of ideas and concepts, part man, part machine, part Terminator.
This film captures the intense pace that he leads his life and filming the build up to the comeback. It’s a fly on the wall romp through the life of the charismatic singer as he prepares to hit the road again.