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Call my name, and I'll be there. Dr. Duran Duran escapes the punishment of the Matmos at the height of British rock group Duran Duran's 1980s popularity. Mistaking the cries of teenage girls at crowded concerts for devotees screaming his name, the Doctor makes his way to Earth so he can lead his faithful masses. Once he discovers the kids don't want an evil Doctor, he goes about trying to destroy the source of the real desires a rock concert taking place at the Oakland (Calif.) Colesium. Written by
This remains one of my favorite movies of all time. It is not by any means good, it is really embarrassing at points. But it's immensely entertaining, and 20 years on it's even more entertaining for new, kitchy reasons.
This is a Duran Duran concert shot in Oakland for the Seven and the Ragged Tiger tour. The concert footage is mixed in with an absurd, stupid plot line. Duran Duran, the bad guy from Barbarella, has been awakened in deep space by the chants of screaming teenage girls. So he discovers the band Duran Duran has taken his name and he sets out to destroy the band, setting up shop under the Oakland arena and kidnapping fans with enormous hair to supply power to his positronic ray that will allow him to control the universe. Yes, really.
Duran Duran were one of the best of the new wave bands from the 80s. When they came out they seemed to be another pretty boy band more concerned with image than music. However, they wrote their own music and played their own instrument. Seeing them again last year, they have actually gotten better with age -- they have never sounded better. Their entire catalog has held up much better than one would have thought 20 years ago, particularly their first three near perfect albums, Duran Duran, Rio, and Seven.
Back to the DVD. The concert footage remains thrilling. The audience is in hysterics, and the boys really put on a hot show. The theatrics, the staging, the costuming were all brilliant, yet the music still towered above everything else. Back then and now, they really put on one hell of a good show. The storyline footage has taken on a campy, nostalgic aura and is still compulsively watchable despite inducing cringes. Oh my god, did we actually do those things to our hair! It is really great seeing bands such as Interpol and the Killers being inspired by and ripping off the original pretty boys, and it makes me feel old to realize some of these kids weren't even born when Duran Duran first hit.
Duran Duran has really held up, and Arena is a thrilling, trashy masterpiece of camp. Time has turned this show into a kitschy work of art.
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