Storefront Hitchcock - B
Viewed November 28, 1998 at Film Forum

One disclaimer before I launch into my review : I don't know Robyn Hitchcock's music that well - I used to own a copy of Perspex Island but Hitchcock's brand of folk rock never grabbed me. However, I am a fan of Demme's concert films -- both Stop Making Sense and Swimming to Cambodia are easily among the greatest works in the rock concert and dramatic monologue categories, respectively. So off I went to Film Forum over Thanksgiving weekend.

I'm glad to report that Storefront Hitchcock is worth watching, even for those who aren't rabid about the former Soft Boys leader. It helps that Hitchcock is an engaging live performer, with a propensity for long Dadaistic prologues that are worth the price of admission alone. Demme maintains visual interest with slow and gradual set and light changes - a new backdrop for this song, a mirror ball twirling on the next one. I was particularly enamored of a window consisting of multicolored panes letting us, the audience, gaze out onto W 14th St as the backdrop. (It's a lot of fun watching the passerby reaction during the parts of the movie when the street is visible.) Neat stuff, even if I still don't really care much for Hitchcock's songwriting. (The only song that stuck in my head is "1974", and that's probably because I'm 24 years old.)