CENTURY FILM CLUB | STOOGE | IN PARTNERSHIP WITH RAINDANCE & BIFA
Some of the greatest documentaries a single person as a prism to deconstruct universal themes. Such is the case in Madeleine Farley’s touching documentary Stooge, the focal subject of which is Robert Pargiter: a strange and endearing man with an unparalleled passion for Iggy Pop.
Robert’s endeavours to meet his hero and participate in the rock’n’roll lifestyle are at once inspiring, sad, comical and thought-provoking. He muses the Stooges are “the last great Silverbacks” but Robert, a polite, eccentric British man, cannot fully commit to their reckless attitudes. While some of the band members get interviewed, frontman Iggy himself is kept at a purposeful distance. Rockstars are what we aspire towards, and Farley wisely understands that to aspire, we must leave ourselves behind. It is these aspiring, depleted, ironic figures towards whom she points the camera, focusing on the residue rather than the glamour.
However, the result, instead of being weighty or dour, is a joyful and uplifting documentary that appreciates the soft absurdity of its subject matter. The pleasure Robert gains from the Stooges’ music emerges from sadness and incompleteness, but that doesn’t negate the joy he takes from it. Robert infuses the film with an infectious sincerity, insecurity masked with bravado and an irrational, brazen and completely pure love for the music. And that’s what rock is all about.
Bruno Savill de Jong
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