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Rollins: Talking from the Box (1992)

Not Rated | | Documentary , Music
After auspicious beginnings as the loudmouthed, political, and angry front man for the revolutionary punk band Black Flag, Henry Rollins has managed to reinvited himself with a quieter, yet... See full summary »
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Henry Rollins ... Himself
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After auspicious beginnings as the loudmouthed, political, and angry front man for the revolutionary punk band Black Flag, Henry Rollins has managed to reinvited himself with a quieter, yet still effective, approach to inciting change and making scathing comments -- spoken word. This set of two brilliant Rollins performances is a great look at the emotional power and poetry of the artist's words. Talking From The Box, which was filmed at Hollywood's Henry Fonda Theatre in 1992, shows Rollins as he approaches the political and personal -- from the 1992 L.A. riots to friendship. Henry Rollins Goes To London captures the star at a 1993 show at the Astoria Theatre.

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Documentary | Music

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Not Rated
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Something is missing in this spoken word performance
24 February 1999 | by lefty-11See all my reviews

A "no frills" presentation of Henry Rollins doing "the talking thing", in which he projects himself as a kind of hardcore drill instructor of righteousness and self improvement: a tattooed Anthony Robbins if you will. As with most populist commentators, he can claim to simplify the message through the use of aphorism and anecdotes in order to reach as wide an audience as possible. Often though, this is really symptomatic of a consistent inability to relate individual experience to a wider social context in an indepth and interesting way. One gets the disturbing impression that this stage act cannot maintain its illusion of spontaneity and loosening up. It seems carefully contrived, like Henry's weight lifting and rigorous work schedule, to render his responses automatic so as to eliminate any anxiety associated with uncertainty. This might explain the perfunctory character of this performance and its effect on the viewer. Regardless of what Rollins recalls in his anecdotes, there is a curious equivalency which renders them indistinguishable. While not without its charms, the main impression "Talking Out the Box" leaves behind is simply that Henry was there and lived to tell another tale.


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