04 February 2010

quadrophenia revisited

I knew nothing about this film except what I remembered from seeing it 20 years ago. I only recalled the ending and that, at the time, I liked the style of the Rockers more than the Mods. Although I like the idea of being smartly dressed, I’m just too lazy. I’m more of a greasy long hair w/leather jacket type and besides, I love rockabilly.  I watched it last night and now have a few thoughts.  It occurs to me that perhaps the Jimmy character was based on Keith Moon, the Who’s pill-popping, manic, crazy drummer. Wasn’t he always pulling crazy stunts like driving cars into swimming pools? Favorite part of the film: After they get done by Jimmy's uncle's friend, they destroy the guys motor and take off.  Reminds me of some shit I pulled back in the day.  Is this a film simply about drug addiction, or is there more to it? Most of Jimmy’s problems seem to stem from his constant ingestion of “blues.” Is he just schizophrenic like his uncle? Is it drug-induced schizophrenia? It’s well documented that amphetamines can produce schizophrenia-like behavior. Jimmy asks his father what happened to his uncle and Jimmy’s father’s glib answer was “Well he drowned, didn’t he?”  Is he just genetically predisposed to be an addict? His Dad is a drinker, but the home life doesn’t seem too terrible except for the boredom. Jimmy wants to be “different” but he just ends up being the same as all the other Mods, fighting Rockers for no reason, even if they are childhood friends. It is exhilarating to be part of a group and to be “us” against “them,” whether “them” is the established order or another group. After all the glory of being a Mod and beating Police and Rockers, when the weekend is over we all still have to go back our ordinary lives. Jimmy couldn’t face it, and who could blame him? The road goes on forever and the party never ends!

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