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[Short Reviews]

QUADROPHENIA

The pantheon of great music movies is small: A Hard Dayís Night, The Last Waltz, Stop Making Sense. Quadrophenia should be on that list, except that it isnít a music movie. Sure, itís based on the 1973 Who album of the same name, and itís replete with dynamite tunes from rock and rollís heyday (Booker T., the Ronettes, the Kingsmen). But Franc Roddamís 1979 film is a film about youth ó about an arcane youth culture, the Mods, and the attempts of one teen, Jimmy (a superb Phil Daniels), to find a place within it and within the larger world.

Part of the Quadropheniaís appeal is its evocation of dank, gray England through muted tones and adept cinematography, and this new version is restored from the original negatives. Best of all, the Dolby A sound has been remastered ó all the better for us to be pummeled by Pete Townshendís percussive guitar and drowned in the roiling whitewash of Keith Moonís drum fills.

But Daniels is the real star here. His accent is often unintelligible, but his presence, alternating between cocksure (when heís around friends) and forlorn (when heís by himself), speaks volumes. In this subculture of pills and Motown and beachside melees between Kinks fans and Gene Vincent fans, Danielsís Jimmy stands out. Despite his doubts, we can see the real him.

By Mike Miliard

Issue Date: June 21-28, 2001