Under The Cherry Moon. Warner DVD 2004
What happens when mad films happen to cracked rock stars? There is Nic Roeg’s iconic “Performance” starring Mick Jagger. There is the far more succesful flick by the same director, “The Man Who Fell To Earth”, starring David Bowie. And then there is “Under The Cherry Moon”, which not only stars and features the music of Minneapolis’ favorite meglomaniac-Prince- it also had the strange fortune of being directed by him.
Legend has it that as the 1986 follow-up to “Purple Rain”, music video director Mary Lambert (the visionary behind Madonna’s “Like A Virgin”) was conscripted to direct Prince in a frothy 30’s style B+W screwball comedy unfolding on the French Riveira. A few arguments later Lambert was out and the next thing Francesca Annis (“Dune”), Steven Berkoff(“Barry Lyndon”) and Kristin Scott Thomas (“The English Patient” ) knew they were in a make-it-up-as-you-go-along extravaganza directed by the star himself. Veteran cinemtographer Micheal Balhaus did a magnificent job lighting the film for all he was worth but what makes “Under The Cherry Moon” OTM worthy is the costume work of Prince acolyte Marie France. 27mins into the DVD Kristin Scott Thomas floats into a seaside boite wearing a sheer polka dot dress with piped edgings and a silk rose at the neckline.Its a look so kitsch Chanel its jawdropping in its off-ness. Add to that a multitude of hi-80’s hairdos, backward lame outfits worn by Prince and the highest heels seen on a man since the 18th century. Its so bad its brilliant. Check it out because there’s a collection lurking in there somewhere. Just don’t bring up “Under The Cherry Moon” to Kristin Scott Thomas in polite conversation. Though this was her film debut, she convienently omits it from her filmography these days.