Jarmusch's 'love letter' to Iggy Pop and the Stooges at Cannes

19th May 2016, Comments 0 comments

With plenty of writhing, stage-diving and drug-taking, American director Jim Jarmusch's new documentary "Gimme Danger" on the iconic punk rockers Iggy Pop and the Stooges premiered in Cannes Thursday.

As if to prove that rock was not dead, both Iggy Pop and Jarmusch gave photographers the middle finger at a photocall before the premiere.

The 69-year-old Iggy Pop, real name James Osterberg, then struck a series of bizarre poses before grabbing one of the photographer's cameras and entering the snappers' melee.

From the moment Iggy Pop decided to quit drums because he was "tired of looking at someone's butt" to his first stage dive and adoption of the dog collar as a fashion statement, "Gimme Danger" charts the numerous rises and falls of one of history's most influential bands.

"I have been calling it a love letter to the Stooges. Why the Stooges? To me they are basically the greatest rock band ever," Jarmusch said in Cannes.

A series of interviews with the frontman himself and the surviving members of the group is interspersed with archive footage of performances, animations, scenes from old films and historical clips played to accompany the dialogue.

In the film, Iggy Pop recalls his life growing up in a trailer park with his parents, whom he drove so mad with his incessant drumming that they gave him the master bedroom.

He explains how he and his bandmates experimented with sounds, hitting oil drums with a mallet, using a blender or vacuum cleaner, while struggling to remain disciplined -- largely a result of their drug use.

After an initial stint as "The Dirty Shames" -- where he admits they spent more time telling people they were a band than actually playing music -- the group settled on the Stooges.

"Because we don't do anything wrong but everyone's picking on us."

He said the first time he adopted his unusual dance style, writhing and crawling around on stage, he was trying to imitate "chimps or baboons before a fight."

"Gimme Danger" also looks at the group's implosion as a result of increased drug use, when Iggy and his bandmates turn to heroin, which along with an avowed "lack of professionalism" saw them dropped by record companies twice.

On one occasion his friend David Bowie encourages Iggy Pop to restart his career.

After finally calling it quits in 1974, the band's various members struck out on their own, finally reuniting 30 years later in 2003 and in 2010 the Stooges were inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame.

While several members of the Stooges have since passed away, Iggy Pop is still going strong and while he performed his final stage dive in 2010, he is currently touring with his latest album "Post Pop Depression".

"Tell them to shout -- I am half deaf," the singer told the moderator at a press conference.

© 2016 AFP

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