Friday, February 18, 2005

Gates, shmates

Sure, Christo's Gates are coming down in a few days, but here's another not-to-be-missed artistic curiosity: The Nomi Song. This documentary about classically trained Berlin countertenor Klaus Nomi is showing on exactly two screens in the U.S.: L.A.'s Nuart Theatre, and Cinema Village, here in New York.

Critics are universally praising this film, while simultaneously scratching their noggins - lo these 22 years after Nomi's untimely demise - in an effort to fathom just what he was all about. Phrases like "profoundly bizarre," "freak among freaks," and "strange, almost inhuman creature" pepper various reviews.

I very clearly recall sitting in the studio audience of Saturday Night Live in late 1979, as Nomi sang backup vocals for David Bowie. The rendition of "The Man Who Sold the World" performed that evening is still the best version I've ever heard by Bowie or anyone else, and Nomi's contribution to that end was significant.

With any luck, this intriguing flick will still be showing once I've seen those Gates.


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