'80s Style

We were starting to think Absolute Beginners was the cinema version of our childhood imaginary friend. The Julien Temple–directed 1986 rock musical stars David Bowie and an unprecedented musical and visual style, but was a gigantic box office flop — it's been way out of circulation ever since. But thanks to “A Rock 'n' Roll Phantasmagoria,” Absolute Beginners is back. It features Patsy Kensit (now the wife of some famous guy), a great Style Council song (“Have You Ever Had It Blue?”), and the first look the world ever got at Sade. Big deal, you may think; Sade is a staple of adult contemporary radio. That's true, but picture her in a indie-type flick full of diagonal camera angles and hot pink drama lighting, playing a 1950s jazz chanteuse in a tight blue dress with all hell breaking out in the smoke-filled club around her. Once seen, never forgotten — trust us. All that and the protagonist is a blatantly antiracist pompadoured teenage photographer who keeps his creepers and tight suits in a converted refrigerator: We're not making it up. Tonight's “Phantasmagoria” double feature is Moulin Rouge (2:15, 7 p.m.) and Absolute Beginners (4:45, 9:30 p.m.), and tomorrow's is the classic rock films Tommy (7 p.m.) and Pink Floyd's The Wall (5, 9:10 p.m.)
Aug. 5-6, 2:15 p.m., 2009

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