A German singer and show woman, living in a trailer park in Kansas, is not the person you would expect to be a sensation but she is on her way. However her starting in East Germany, her botched sex change and the theif of her work by a new star, has bittered the pill. She steps up to a tour and take down all those who made it harder for her to reach the heights. HEDWIG AND THE ANGRY INCH is that rare diamond of a thing. Its all things to all people. Being a comedy, being a musical, being a social commentary, being a parody of musical stardom, being a clever commentary on post war and post Stalin or Leninist communism. Its also a film you can watch and sing along to. Cheer and cry over and even sometimes reveal in its absurd delights.
John Cameron Mitchell translates his frankly brilliant musical, into a superb film. Now that in itself is not a hard thing to do. A great script, story and music help the audience commit but Cameron Mitchell really adds textures and traits that lift it. Using wonderful vibrant palletes, high energy songs, swift storytelling, riverting framing. He never falls for subtle cues and soft camerawork. This is dispensed with. Instead bold frames give flight to HEDWIG AND THE ANGRY INCH. Now also I must give Cameron Mitchell an appreciation thread. He adds movement and jigger to the lead.Then notes like the slight feel of a person trapped in an emotional vortex and tenderness to scenes. This is great but actually his best work is in the execution of humour without too much deadpan positions.
The 4K really does come into its own. The DVD was a standard transfer but one that made the set design come alive. Here it really does become something even more. Then you have Cameron Mitchell face, which shines, glows, shimmers and glint in the omnipresent eye.
So what is the best three things on the disc? Forget the Audio commentary. It has featured before and is worth visiting but I have done so too often. New conversation between Trask and rock critic David Fricke about the film’s soundtrack is the place to start. Fricke and Trash bounce the score around. Discuss the song as storytelling device. Its a great play. Villalobos Whether You Like It or Not: The Story of Hedwig (2003), an 85‐minute documentary tracing the development of the project from its beginnings in a New York club to its theatrical premiere at the Sundance Film Festival, this is well worth a visit. It charts the history of the piece in a concise and clear way. Humourous and structured to get the message across. A rare treat for a doc on a film. An essay by Stephanie Zacharek, you can read it online. Do so.
- New 4K digital restoration, supervised by director John Cameron Mitchell and cinematographer Frank DeMarco, with 5.1 surround DTS‐HD Master Audio soundtrack
- Audio commentary from 2001 featuring Mitchell and DeMarco
- New conversation between members of the cast and crew, including Mitchell,
- DeMarco, composer and lyricist Stephen Trask, hairstylist and makeup artist Michael
- Potter, animator Emily Hubley, actor Miriam Shor, and visual consultant Miguel
- Villalobos Whether You Like It or Not: The Story of Hedwig (2003), an 85‐minute documentary tracing the development of the project from its beginnings in a New York club to its theatrical premiere at the Sundance Film Festival
- New conversation between Trask and rock critic David Fricke about the film’s soundtrack
- From the Archives, a new programme exploring Hedwig’s production and legacy
- through its memorabilia
- Deleted scenes with commentary by Mitchell and DeMarco
- PLUS: An essay by Stephanie Zacharek, along with, production photos by Potter and costume designer Arianne Phillips, illustrations by Hubley, and excerpts from two of the film’s inspirations, Plato’s Symposium and The Gospel of Thomas.