In November 2014 the Iconic club Madame Jojos closed its doors. This event being interpreted by many as the death knell of Soho.The gentrification of Soho affects the LGBT community and its...
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In November 2014 the Iconic club Madame Jojos closed its doors. This event being interpreted by many as the death knell of Soho.The gentrification of Soho affects the LGBT community and its Drag Queen sub-culture, but the cabaret atmosphere of the entire neighborhood in enormous ways. This active pursuit to destroy a bubbling and vibrant part of the city's heart is viewed by many as an atrocity akin to turning the lights off on Broadway. Over 3rd of London's music venues have been closed in recent years and no one noticed. An active movement to bring a halt to this disaster has begun to unfold with one organization after another emerging to fight for Soho. Organizations made up of citizens and celebrities have sprung up to combat this onslaught. Will they win this battle and save Soho?Written by
The movie has truly great opening. It invites viewer to the underground world of Soho – both sleazy and magical at the same time. Then the actual movie starts and everything falls apart. The movie consists mostly of interviews. We meet extravagant performers, local business owners and activists. For some Soho is a memory of their gone youth for others it is place where they found acceptance and now are forced to defend their second home from real estate developers who want to change it to just another part of London. Regardless of who is speaking you can feel that Soho is extremely important to them but we never get to hear their stories as director is jumping between speakers not getting deeper with any of them.
My main issue with this movie is that it lacks both focus and good decisions. What this movie is about because honestly I don't know. If it wanted to show the variety of people living in Soho and it's local culture – great. If it wanted to show how democracy is failing against big corporate system using forceful changes on Soho as a baseline for discussion – again, great. Instead we get a little of this, a little of that and in the end we get nowhere just one giant mess. Not only that but one of the subplots involves a fight of a single mother to get a replacement housing because she is being evicted from her flat. This whole subplots feels completely out of place. I really wonder if director took time to think about why he is putting this part of the interview in the movie – what this scene means to the movie, is it funny, does it offer a strong point or is it just wasting time?
I find it amazing that music in this movie is so messed up. In some scenes I feel like somebody forgot to normalize volumes so if character on screen was loud I would get screamed at as well, experience far from enjoyable. The other thing I would notice is that on numerous occasion halfway the interview the background music would start playing and getting progressively louder to the point that it was very difficult to understand what the speaker was saying.
The movie has, sort of, main characters: a queer, a transvestite activist and local artist. They are given more screen time than others and are regularly revisited thought the movie between interviews. All three annoyed me. What's worse the movie presented much more interesting characters whose stories I would be much more fascinated to hear.
In some movies at the end of the movie there is a writing saying what happened after the end of the action of the movie, what was the follow up. This is is used here as well on several cases but it's used poorly. We get letters to read (long section) on very active background. So as the viewer should I be reading or looking at action in the background because both are asking for my attention.
The film ends with 10 minute sequence of an elderly gay man dancing on the beach. Was this supposed to be artistic or kamp? As a matter of fact who cares – one more bad decision when whole movie is build upon bad decisions won't make much difference anyway.
People connected to Soho show passion when talking about it and the place deserve a better movie. Something done with skill, at least some. Truly hated the movie and that I paid any money for it.
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