Lonely Planet Boy

The latest in a string of great music documentaries about underappreciated artists, Jobriath A.D. is hands down the most heartbreaking and dazzling. Unlike the subjects of A Band Called Death or Anvil!, our prima donna got his big break. In fact, weeks before Jobriath's debut dropped, his smooth-chested visage towered over Times Square. He was pitched as "The True Fairy of Rock & Roll," more Bowie than Bowie, in every major mag; his first tour was to include a replica of the Empire State Building which morphed into giant phallus that Jobriath could climb as Fay Wray. It proved to be too much, even for the '70s. Some blame horrible mismanagement and the grotesqueries of hype; others blame sexual discrimination — in truth, even the gay community derided Jobriath, the first openly gay pop star, as a joke rather than an icon — but only the head of Elektra blames the music. These smart, beautiful pop songs, first rereleased by Morrissey in 2004, are haunting. Morrissey does not appear in the film, but plenty of superfans do, including Soft Cell's Marc Almond, Def Leppard's Joe Elliott, and Magnetic Fields' Stephen Merritt. Sadly, Jobriath, himself, is but a glittering specter — he died, alone (and unnoticed for four days) at the age of 36.

Tue., Feb. 4, 7 & 9:15 p.m., 2014
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