Hedwig and the Angry Inch

(2001)

Hedwig and The Angry Inch tells the story of an 'internationally ignored' rock singer, Hedwig, and her search for stardom and love. Born a boy named Hansel whose life's dream is to find his other half, Hedwig reluctantly submits to a sex change operation in order to marry an American G.I. and get over the Berlin Wall to freedom. The operation is botched, leaving her with the aforementioned 'angry inch'. Finding herself high, dry and divorced in a Kansas trailer park, she pushes on to form a rock band and encounters a lover/protege in young Tommy Gnosis, who eventually leaves her, steals her songs and becomes a huge rock star. A bitter yet witty Hedwig with her band, The Angry Inch, shadows Tommy's stadium tour, performing in near-empty restaurants for bewildered diners and a few die-hard fans. Through a collage of songs, flashbacks and animation, Hedwig tells her life story while on a tour of chain strip-mall seafood restaurants, trying to capitalize on her tabloid celebrity as the supposed ex-lover of famed rock star, Tommy Gnosis. Somewhere between the crab cakes and the cramped motel rooms, between the anguish and the acid-wash, she pursues her dreams and discovers the origin of love.

AGENT ORANGE: Stephen Trask on HEDWIG & THE ANGRY INCH!

Hedwig and the Angry Inch: I barely made it to Long Beach Blvd before that tiny little spare split in shreds and sent my hub into the pavement. At 65 miles an hour, I was looking like a grip of Roman Candles that had gone off in someone's duffel bag. The 76 Station set me up with a new tire, and I was on my way to Sean's house in Irvine, California. Everything was great.

Afterwards, I saw Sean into the Great Northwest. Then I remembered I had to be back up in Los Angeles for my Stephen Trask interview. I flew like a bat out of hell, getting to that white courtesy phone 15 minutes before the big talk.

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AGENT ORANGE: John Cameron Mitchell on HEDWIG & the ANGRY INCH!

Hedwig & The Angry Inch: Days after seeing Hedwig, the thing was still crawling around inside me. I couldn't shake those images I'd been force-fed during the screening. As a whole, the film seemed wedged right next to Pootie Tang in a "Did I love this, or completely hate it?" section of my brain. Now I had to go look its creators in the eye.

Two-halves of one beast that came together on a plane somewhere over the Atlantic Ocean. A wielding of minds in creation of this year's most anticipated stage translation. One wrote the music, the other wrote the screenplay. It's a tight seal that will surely frighten the gods, and possible even those moviegoers who are turned off by a she-male with a one-inch nub. Me? I wasn't scared. I was ready to behold the power that is Stephen Trask & John Cameron Mitchell.

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