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Sunday, March 24, 2013

Sean Kelly

Blindspot: The Cult of 2013: Hedwig and the Angry Inch

hedwig_and_the_angry_inch

Based on the off-Broadway musical of the same name, Hedwig and the Angry Inch tells the story of Hedwig (John Cameron Mitchell), a transsexual rock star from East Berlin.  Born as Hansel Schmidt, Hedwig underwent a botched sex change operation, which left her with the titular “angry inch.” 

She eventually meets and falls in love with a young Christian man named Tommy Speck (Michael Pitt) and they write songs together, with Hedwig giving Tommy the stage name Tommy Gnosis.  However, he leaves her and becomes an international rock star with Hedwig’s songs, which leaves her to perform in trashy bars and tell her story to the patrons.

After seeing this film, I can understand why both the film and musical has amassed a cult following.  Despite the film’s somewhat mature subject matter, the story is very much played for its camp value.  In fact, I found a number of the songs in the film, including the hard rocking title track, to be quite catchy and entertaining.  That said, I do say that I was left confused by the way the film ended, though I suppose it is all meant to represent the ambiguous nature of Hedwig’s character.

At the time this was made, the entire cast was mostly unknown.  John Cameron Mitchell reprised the role he played in the the stage musical, while the film is one the earliest performances for Michael Pitt.  Andrea Martin shows up in the film as Hedwig’s manager and it’s a bit of a shame she wasn’t on screen more, since is always quite great.  Of course, the film is all about Hedwig, who gets the bulk of the film’s screentime, either in the performances or multiple flashbacks.

Overall, I have to say that I found Hedwig and the Angry Inch to be an enjoyable musical.

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Sean Kelly

About Sean Kelly -

Sean Patrick Kelly is a self-described ├╝ber-geek, who has been an avid film lover for all his life. He graduated from York University in 2010 with an honours B.A. in Cinema and Media Studies and he likes to believe he knows what he’s talking about when he writes about film (despite occasionally going on pointless rants).