Posts from 20th March 2009

Mar 09

THE FT TOP 100 TRACKS OF ALL TIME No. 31: Prince – “I Would Die 4 U”

FT/2 comments • 1,245 views

i-would-die-4-uMichael Jackson came in for some stick at the 1996 Brit Awards for dressing up like Jesus and surrounding himself with children, but he never pulled the groundbreakingly presumptuous move of speaking in the first person as Mr Christ himself. Somehow, though, Prince never sparked the embarrassment that MJ did, nor the outrage that Madonna cleverly cooked up for 1989’s “Like a Prayer”.

This might be on account of “I Would Die 4 U” working so well as a straight-up love song. (In the countless times I’ve danced to it, striking bravado poses during the wonderfully staccato chorus, I never thought much about theology.) Prince manages the trick of making a conversation between deity and humanity sound an awful lot like a declaration of love from one lonely individual to another. He’ll never beat you, he’ll never lie (and presumably will never give you up, or let you down). He, and this song, will be there for you whenever you need them, without judgement or condition.

He’s quick to protest that he’s not your lover, he’s not your friend. He is something that you’ll never comprehend.

Oh come off it, Prince – we know what that third category is. It’s “pop star”.

The International aka Shoot ‘Em Up 2

FT2 comments • 362 views

Shoot ‘Em Up was a action movie piece of fluff in the style of Crank, basically ridiculous gun porn in an over-the-top situation. Clive Owen played our grizzled anti-hero, surly and angry for no obvious reason. A man who is exceptional with guns, but tired by life. It is a ridiculous movie, but quite a lot of fun as very silly things happen and get shot.

The International is a serious Euro-thriller about the deadly effects of an International Bank. In positing a financial institution as a villain, it is pretty much aping the recent Bond films, but also commenting on the real facelessness of evil in the modern world. The bank buys assassins, countries, dirty policemen – it is said to be unstoppable due to its labyrinthine influence in the world. Into said world comes Clie Owen, a grizzled anti-hero, surly and angry for no apparent reason. In the flight between Luxembourg, Italy and the US we see the depth in which this conspiracy lies, and the difficulty our hero (and his equally personality free companion Naomi Watts) has to battle.

Shoot ‘Em Up is a better film.