Absolute Beginners

From the Chicago Reader (September 1, 1987). Twilight Time is bringing out a lovely Blu-Ray edition of this, and it looks even better to me now than it did in 1987. — J.R.

absolute-beginners

A fascinating attempt by rock video director Julien Temple to do several things at once — adapt a Colin MacInnes novel, show the London youth scene in 1958 (while dealing at length with the racial tensions of the period), build on some of the stylistic innovations of Frank Tashlin, Vincente Minnelli, and Orson Welles, and put to best use a fascinating score by Gil Evans that adapts everything from Charles Mingus to Miles Davis. A mixed success, but an exhilarating try (1986). With David Bowie, Keith Richards, and James Fox. 107 min. (JR)

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