© 2001 Killer Films

Hedwig and the Angry Inch (2001)

Living in Tokyo as I do, I occasionally find myself in one part of town after the trains have stopped running, stranded with a group of friends and people I have just met for the first time. In such times there is little you can do other than go to karaoke. The once national pastime of Japan has long since lost its appeal for me, as it seems to have for most other people in the country. I don’t have a regular repertoire and so searched through the catalog for some movie songs. I put on “Origin of Love”  from Hedwig and the Angry Inch. Sure, it is a long song, and, granted, I am not the best of singers. But even before I got to the very first line, there were vocal complaints from amongst the group. One American guy who was part of the party I was at earlier nearly gagged. “Oh, man, this is from the worst movie ever, about a guy who turns into a girl. God, it makes me sick to just to think about it.” I canceled the song before the first line was even over. I didn’t mind about not being able to sing the song, but later I was thinking about how someone was so vocal in their dismissal not of the film, but of the content. Of course I know that the prejudice and judgmental attitude that plays the antagonist in the film is still a part of world we live in. I was just surprised to come face-to-face with it. It also made me want to watch the film again, which I did. Then it surprised me that anyone could object to the film as a film. The script, costume and make-up, production design, and especially the music in this film are so good it is hard to imagine someone not appreciating them even a little.

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