Can You See The Real Marketing Ploy?
I keep buying this damn product in its many incarnations.
- There’s the double LP -Check.
- The double CD – Check.
- The Soundtrack version on double LP – Check
- The Soundtrack version on double CD – Check
- The Original Movie DVD – Check
- The new version of the movie DVD 2 disc set – Check.
- The concert DVD of the 1990s Who stage show of this album – Check.
And so it goes. Can’t even remember the number of times I went to see it at the Valhalla cinema in the 1980s.
The entry on the original album is here. Nothing much I didn’t know but this was funny:
During the ‘Behind The Laughter’ episode of The Simpsons, the cover of the Krustophenia record is a parody of Quadrophenia.
Anyway… Naturally, the Film has its own page.
At the time of its original release, the film was received mostly negatively by critics and was panned for its large amounts of sex, violence, profanity and drug use, which were then still fairly uncommon in film. It did acquire a large word-of-mouth reputation amongst teenagers too young to go and see it. Today it is considered a cult classic and is recognised as a realistic reflection of youth culture in the 1960s. Many have praised Phil Daniels’ intense performance. The film currently holds a 100% “Fresh” rating on Rotten Tomatoes.
Sounds about right. What prompted this search of course is because I bought the 2 disc set and watched the second extras disc to find the thing was shot in 1:1.85 and not anamorphic. The production stills show Arriflex SR cameras, which doesn’t negate the possibility it was shot on anamorphic, but it seems far more likely it was 1:1.85. Indeed, the director tells us so in one of the interviews. The transfer does seem to be anamorphic 16:9.
It’s a bloody brilliant film, which together with ‘The Kids Are Alright’ and ‘Tommy’ prove that the creative vision of The Who extended favorably well beyond their own domain of Rock. I remember mounting a lone defense of this film at AFTRS back in the day.
A quick look at Franc Roddam’s page reveals that he hasn’t been spectacularly successful as a director since.
In 1977 he made his name by producing and directing a controversial, searing docu-drama called Dummy, which was watched by 14 million viewers. It told the sad, sordid story of Sandra, a deaf and mute girl who descended into prostitution and degradation on the streets of Bradford. She was portrayed by Geraldine James in a performance that won her the Prix Italia and established her reputation as a talented actress.
Roddam directed Quadrophenia in 1979, loosely based on The Who’s 1973 album of the same name. It told the story of Jimmy, a teenager who was involved in the early 1960s mod phenomenon. There was a burgeoning mod revival at the time, partially inspired by the film. The film has developed a cult status, but unlike his near contemporaries Ridley Scott and Alan Parker, Roddam did not establish himself in the United States. His first Hollywood film The Bride was a commercial flop, and his work since has been sporadic. Roddam is credited with creating the series Auf Wiedersehen, Pet reflecting his roots in North East England, and devising the format for the television game show Masterchef.
As one of my colleagues told me once-upon-a-long-time-ago, it’s better to be a has-been than a never-been. At least he will always have ‘Quadrophenia’ to his name.