Thursday, April 8, 2010

Sex, Violence and Rock'n'Roll; Music in Prince of Swine

Q: Why do you call Prince of Swine a Rock'n'Roll comedy?

Michael Rogers (music supervisor, Prince of Swine): Because in the usual sense of the words, it's a comedy that rocks, it's got a beat to it, Prince of Swine moves from first beat to last, and you can just enjoy the movie on that level if you want. But also on a deeper level, which is, unfortunately, not much associated with rock music any more -

Q: Delve, maestro.

MR: The reason rock was a revolutionary force in world culture is it reaches into the unconscious. After WW II we'd been thrust into this technological cage, with no outlet for the passions. War was not an option any more for greater and greater numbers of people, people were sexually repressed - the passions had to go somewhere. They went into rock music. We tend to associate rock with children, but it's actually an ancient view: music is the barbarous expression of the human soul. Prince of Swine is a rock'n'roll movie on this level because its writer, director and composer are very aware of that musical level in every beat.

Q: Animality lurking beneath the veneer of civilization?

MR: The subject matter and musicality reminded me of Blue Velvet in that context, and also Full Metal Jacket, though Full Metal Jacket is more a dissection of violence and the male mind, it's defined by almost the complete absence of or abolition of women (which also makes it less musical). The common theme is, music or animality are right below the surface in Prince of Swine, sometimes breaking through, just as it does in real life, what an actor would call "subtext", and that's what gives Prince of Swine its musical beat.

Q: Where does it break through?

MR: Well, obviously in the sex scenes. There's also a level of violence, menace, certainly hatred, present in the Farber character, that looms over everything. The Witt character is animalistic but not hateful. Women have power in the movie, and women are the first to become powerless when a movie or a society are sexually repressed, repressing women is literally repressing music in my view, or repressing music is repressing women, either way -

Q: So -

MR: So what?

Q: (laughing) In so many words, it's been awhile since rock music had anything to say to me, I mean, so what, animal passion? The Nazis had animal passion, anyone can have animal passion, especially men, it's as easy as breathing for you guys.

MR: Anyone can, I think most people lose it as they age, there is no outlet for it in modern life, if it's not awakened it dies, we can't harness it for anything, it tends to get frittered away or lost in the machine. That's what I like about Prince of Swine - you could end up a tyrant or a monster, destroy yourself, that's one possibility. You're stirring energies which could lead down the path of ultimate evil. The night rallies at Nuremberg with the fire and music, whipping the crowd into a frenzy. The parallels and precursors to a modern rock concert are obvious. So obviously, that's a misuse of that power and shows how deeply it can be misused, as the Farber character does. At the same time, you could harness it in an equally passionate, but beautiful, benevolent, and meaningful way, I think Prince of Swine shows that too, the couple that might make it, they're blazing a trail in the wilderness, as are most modern marriages. A childish understanding of rock can take its toll on a marriage, relations between men and women. But I think there's a chance for rebirth, renewal this way -

Q: Renewal of what?

MR: Renewal of a lot of things, Mark sees renewal and rebirth of a lot of the things he cares about on a political level, and art as a means to accomplish that, not so much that you can preach in art, or can be too specific, but it brings you power, brings you the spotlight, and you can then use that to change things. I see that too, but it's more elemental to me, Prince of Swine is a musical movie, it doesn't have boundaries. I guess renewal of music, or rebirth of relations between men and women, the love scenes say that very strongly to me, the heroine is essentially going through a rebirth, they're redemptive, for both him and her, and, of course, the movie aims to be redemptive and renewing for both men and women.

Prince of Swine opens at the Laemmle Sunset 5 in West Hollywood on the Sunset Strip at Crescent Heights, Memorial Day Weekend, for a limited engagement, May 28th to June 3rd.

Get tickets for Prince of Swine online at the Laemmle Sunset 5 or the Prince of Swine website (discounts available for advance and group purchasers).

Join the Prince of Swine revolution on Twitter and Facebook.

Visit Prince of Swine at http//

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