Friday, June 03, 2005

Quadrophenia & "The Guinea Pig"

The "Brighton" clips from from the movie version of The Who's masterwork Quadrophenia helped set up our study of Graham Greene's Brighton Rock. Both the film and the double-album rock opera are very relevant to our course, providing as they do another artistic representation of failed masculinity: a young man unable to find validation and suffering from a aggressive impulses without sanctioned expression. The title -- "Quadrophenia"-- can refer in part to the multiple ways in which the lad's masculinity fails: with women, with other men, with his family, with the authorities. At my request, the Media Collection at our Library has a copy of the dvd available for home viewing. If you have an opportunity to watch it, you'll enjoy the film.

Nb: Here is a black & white period picture of mods & rockers in early 60s Brighton.

By the bye, Rolling Stone magazine makes mention of The Who's ".... thuggish, working-class youth image [and they suggest that] .... it was more than image."

The Media Collection also has a copy of The Guinea Pig for home viewing. A 1960s British film starring a young-ish Richard Attenborough, it is generally regarded, along with Alan Sillitoe's Saturday Night & Sunday Morning, as the cinema-juste for early lad-lit. I find it formulaic and clearly inferior to the subtlty, craft, daring, authenticity unflorced tenderness and insightful realism of The Browning Version. But, that's just me. Please see for yourself if you have the chance.

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