Absolute Beginners

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Musicals

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Time Out says

This musical taken from Colin MacInnes' book about life on the edge in the Soho and Notting Hill of 1958 is a thing of bits and shards. A pair of flyweight leads are counterbalanced by some lurid casting (including Lionel Blair as a pederast tin pan alley king, Alan Freeman's clueless trendspotter, Steven Berkoff's usual Fascist rant, and Bowie, whose face at last is taking on character). Clearly a nightmare to edit, the narrative stutters into life only occasionally. Camp is everywhere, humour thin; and the soundtrack is very contemporary for a movie which in the pre-publicity boasted of its jazz origins. The whole film is an example of the strange influence of pop promo mentality on cinema. All that noise, all that energy, so little governing thought. CPea.

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