Adam Ant: “The Blueblack Hussar”
directed by Jack Bond
starring Adam Ant
Sunrise Pictures and MVD Visual
No “Where are they now?” 1980s doc would be complete without a look at Adam Ant, one of the most flamboyant musicians from an era known for its flash. In his mix of white stripe face paint, regency finery and feathers he didn’t just sound good, he looked good. A string of hits from 1980 to 1983 routinely put him in the Top Ten and spawned a reasonably successful acting career. He dropped out of the scene and did some time “sectioned” away. That’s Brit-speak for having a mental illness making you dangerous to others. Now he’s “safe”, and we get to follow him around as he plans a comeback, sings a few songs, and generally spills his personal demons to rock doc director Jack Bond. The face stripe is gone, he now alternates between “the Blue-Black Hussar” and a grunge looking outfit of watch cap, Elvis Costello glasses, and a green military surplus jacket. While his voice remains familiar, his musical trend it retrograde. He’s now a more angry punk rather than snappy New Waver. The film splits most of its time between the stage on his The Good, the Mad and the Lovely Posse tour and hanging out in his apartment with some of his hottie girl friends or down at the tattoo parlor getting inked with scenes from vintage British military operation. And he has two cute dogs. What’s not to love?
Director Bond takes a more active role in this film than most other directors, he often appears in scene as Adam haunts the streets. Bond occasionally asks interview questions but mostly he pals about with Mr. Ant as he does his daily chores, flirts with the girls and preps for the stage. It’s homey but a bit off-putting for some reason I can’t pin down. Besides Bond’s questions there are some other more “official” interviews, here Mr. Ant displays the sort of vapid answers to vapid questions that tends to flavor the whole celebrity interview universe. There is one dramatic moment, on stage Mr. Ant collapses and is reset by some roadies. The crowd cheers and he completes the show. The medical detail are never reveled, one assumes the catch all “exhaustion.” Is Adam Ant back and ready to challenge the pop charts once again? I doubt it, while there’s certainly an attraction for the oldies community but his music is out of sync with both the current pop trends and the sound that made him famous thirty years ago. But he’s likeable and you cheer for him – he’s a bit heavy on the tats and his art collections a bit…tacky, but he seems a sweet man who is just past his prime.