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Quadrophenia * Franc Roddam (1979)

The box says that this film is about the violent confrontations of the two youth cultures of the UK in the late 1950’ies and early 1960’ies, the “mods” (or ‘modernists’) and the “rockers”. Actually, the film mostly follows a group of mods and the boy Jimmy Cooper in particular. Mods liked to dress up nicely in suits and neckties, not completely unlike certain groups of students nowadays. Mods supposedly listened to jazz, but our Jimmy is more interested in rock-music such as that of The Who and in their discos the mods dance to rock’n’roll sounds. What the music is that the rockers listen to, does not become clear in the film. However the mods looked like perfect sons-in-law, for those days they has long hair and their Levi jeans (though not blue) were supposedly offensive. What is more, the collegiate the mods might look, drug-use, alcohol and escapism made a violent coctail. Smashing up the houses where they have their parties, looking for confrontations with rockers and the police, the mods even went as far as wrecking the whole city of Brighton. Jimmy, within all this, grows from being somewhat of a leading character to the laughingstock of the group which greatly adds to his disillusionment and depression. “Quadrophenia” is an enjoyable film, but comparing it so “Trainspotting” (more or less the same subject) gives it a bit too much credit. Also do not expect an “A Clockwork Orange”. An amusing history of youth culture though.

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