Wednesday, May 26, 2004
There's one turkey of a film that's also worthy of note: 1990's A Matter of Degrees, starring Ayre Gross (you might not know the name, but you'd recognise the face), Tom Sizemore (a fine actor and - judging by the number of assault charges lodged by his wife against him - a terrible human being) and X's John Doe (the perennial B-movie rock dude). Why is it worth noting? No great reason; the minimal story line revolves around a "radical" college DJ who doesn't want to "sell out" to the squares who run the station; the soundtrack is mostly z-grade college schmaltz for arts majors (Pixies, Throwing Muses, etc.), though they throw some Yo La Tengo in there, a bit of Minor Threat and the Minutemen, and, strangest of all, the film is dedicated (in the closing credits) "to the memory of D. Boon". Sheez, what a tribute! Still, it is an interesting textbook example of a "pre-grunge breakthrough" (ie. pre-1991) attempt by Hollywood to at least remotely understand the "underground" music scene of the late '80s, along with similarly flawed efforts like Pump Up the Volume. Masterpieces they ain't, but you can bet your 8" vinyl collection that a cinema/cultural studies Masters student somewhere is wasting your precious tax dollars penning a thesis on the whole phenomenon as you read this.