Jarmusch pays playful tribute to Iggy Pop and the Stooges in Cannes
By Julien Pretot CANNES, France (Reuters) – With “Gimme Danger”, a witty documentary on Iggy Pop and the Stooges premiering on Thursday at the Cannes Film Festival, director Jim Jarmusch sheds a bright, playful light on the 1960s band that pre-dated and strongly influenced punk rock.
While “Paterson”, Jarmusch’s feature film, competing for the Palme d’Or prize, is a quiet ode to everyday life, “Gimme Danger” turns the amplifier up to maximum in a collage of the career of Pop’s band, the Stooges. Shown out of competition in the Midnight Screening section, it includes unique footage of the band recovered by Jarmusch’s team and sometimes with the help of Pop himself. “Our intention was to make something somehow close to the Stooges music, which is not easy to do with film – but that means let it be wild and messy and funny and heartfelt and emotional and strong,” Jarmusch told journalists on Thursday. A playful Jarmusch, who claims the Stooges are “basically the greatest rock band ever”, gives his trademark touch in the cutaways, a mix of animations and historical clips. “I am a throw-away guy but I knew a lot of people who would (help): fans and old drug dealers and bootleggers, and strange followers,” said Iggy Pop, whose real name is James Osterberg and was referred to as “Mr Pop” by the moderator. “Gimme Danger” tells the story of the Stooge’s many rises and falls and its members repeated forays into drug abuse. It features interviews with Pop, guitarist James Williamson, drummer Scott Asheton – who died in 2014, saxophone player Steve Mackay – who died in 2015, and guitarist Ron Asheton – who died in 2009. The Stooges – formed in 1967, disbanded in 1974 and reformed in 2003 – were a more critical than commercial success. “We were delusional about what’s popular,” Williamson says in the film, which sees Iggy Pop, now 69, recall his childhood in his parents’ trailer in Ann Arbor, Michigan, and his disdain for the hippie movement. “It was created in meetings. It smells,” he says. (Editing by Louise Ireland)