1987 Purple Rain - Purple Rain

Purple Mile
Almost every artist at one point or another wants to do more creative things than the thing he or she became an artist for in the first place. And somehow the big screen has an enormous pull to it. Elvis Presley even tried it, but when they found out he was a better singer than actor, they made him sing all his lines. Somehow acting and music are intertwined. Actors want to sing an singers want to act. So it didn't come as an earth shattering shock that Prince too wanted a piece of the big screen. And so he did. A small man wearing heels, dressed in a purple overcoat with a hairdo that defies gravity and a brilliant musical mind went and made Purple Rain. However, Prince didn't just make a film about something completely new to him, on the contrary, he made a film about music. About a man, hungry for recognition and like every good film story not getting any, making it to the last scene were recognition is his for the taking. Some years go by. A white man, covered in tattoos, straight from the trailer park, and also in the possession of a brilliant musical mind makes it to the top of the predominantly black hip-hop scene. Eminem. And shock! Eminem wants to make a film too. A film about a man, hungry for recognition and like every good film story not getting any, making it to the last scene where recognition is his for the taking. Déjà vu anyone? It is therefore no surprise that reviewers compare Eminem's 8 Mile to Prince's Purple Rain even going so far as to say "8 Mile is Eminem's Purple Rain". Two films about a struggling musician wanting recognition. But that's where the comparison ends. Sure the idea is the same, but the form they chose couldn't be further apart. For one thing, Eminem can actually act, where Prince,... well, let's be glad he does excel in music. With Purple Rain you can't suppress the idea that the film is one big advertisement for his Royal Badness. (during the end credits a different song plays every 15 seconds!) The story is as cliché as you can get, but it's not the story you would expect when you examine the setting of the film. Everything is done in style. The clothing, the make-up, the mis-en-scène, it's a fairy tale that should've been told by Tim Burton, and it shouldn't have anything to do with a struggling musician that is struggling for his stay in the spotlight. That's another difference with 8 Mile, the Kid (Prince's character in the film) is already in the spotlights, he just needs to 'struggle' to stay there. Eminem is in the dump. He's broke, just like his car, lives in a trailer with his little sister, his mom and her boyfriend. And he wants to get in the spotlights. And this is no fairy tale, it's the real, hard world. He wants to get out of this place if it's the last thing he does, he wants to escape, and he wants to do it in the only way he can, with music. Prince's route is easier and less clear, he seems to have success, but he wants more, and the only way to do it, is by not behaving like an ass. He needs his band to survive. Of course there's also the girl he wants to impress, and wouldn't you know it, it's the same girl his opponent wants. And whadda ya know, Eminem also has a girl his opponent wants. Pfft! But there's also violence. So where does that fit in? Both Eminem and Prince play men that come from a violent household (which you can see in the accompanying film fragment). With Eminem, it makes sense, drunk people with dead-end or no jobs? Yeah, violence fits in, you don't even have to explain it, so they don't. But with Prince it's different. A violent father who used to be famous, but they don't go deeper into the matter, you get the feeling it's just in there to show the public 'look at how bad my life is'. But no matter what the film is like, Prince's true colors (I would guess purple) are shown on the stage, the enthusiasm with which he plays his music is uncanny, the feeling, the emotion, you look at it knowing it's way over the top, but it's okay. You buy it. It's Prince. The music is everything, it's love. With Eminem, it's everything and a way out. His music is his dream which he can only make real by making music. You still with me? Eminem's film is more about dreams than music, but it's with music that he can fulfill his dreams. With Prince,...it's all about the music. Ramon Kool researcher and whizzkid for 'The American I never was' check out the Dutch website for his comedy act: www.cabaretzinloos.nl
De originele videoclip van Purple Rain
De clip van 'Purple Rain' doet iets onmogelijks. Het is tegelijk pastiche en echte kunst. Diepe ironie leidt tot authentieke ontroering. Prince neemt de Classic Sweat Pose aan. Hij speelt de klassieke gitaarheld, een kokette en wulpse versie van Jimi Hendrix. De gepijnigde blik in de solo's, de knipperende ogen bij het zingen van de sleutelzinnen, de siddering door zijn hele lichaam als de muziek met hem op de loop gaat. Het is een virtuoze imitatie. En toch zit er in de muziek een dwingende kracht die maakt dat ik onderweg mijn geamuseerde bewondering loslaat en oprecht in de ban raak. Elke keer dat ik de clip zie overkomt me dat. Alsof al die attributen van het gedateerde rock-icoon, eenmaal bij elkaar gezet, ondanks zichzelf toch het oergevoel produceren dat ze juist buiten werking willen stellen.

Honoring The Purple Rain Decade

Purple Reign

Prince # 5

'The Sign' gitaar

International Celebrity Images

A Really Doesn't Lookalike

Purple Reign Prince Fan Party 2004

Jason Tenner, Prince impersonator

Dawnation. The Independent Guide 2 Prince

A Not So Very Lookalike

Wie is de echte Prince?
Prinses? - Anneke Smelik (NL) / Princess? - Anneke Smelik (NL)

1961 Mijn eerste bioscoop | 1962 Live at the Apollo | 1965 Memories of the Space Age | 1967 The beauty of Herb | 1968 Remember The Alamo! | 1968 Martin Luther King | 1968 The Boy Wonder | 1970 Hiawatha en Geronimo | 1971 Smalltown, USA | 1971 The Greatest | 1972 Cabaret | 1973 Asbury Park | 1975 The Pitcher | 1977 The Hi-Hat Movement | 1977 Vietnam veteranen | 1977 Taxi Driver | 1978 Jonathan Richman | 1980 Sandinista! | 1980 Richard Brautigan | 1984 We Are The World | 1985 Rumblefish | 1987 Purple Rain | 1988 Down by Law | 1989 Rokenrol | 1991 Philip Roth & Newark | 1993 Nightswimming |