“Who Are You?” – The Who

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The premise for this classic song came from Pete Townshend winning a 7-figure settlement in the late 1970s, which made him feel horrible, because he devoted a lot of time and energy to an endeavor that only resulted in a check. He drowned his sorrows in booze and ran into Steve Jones and Paul Cook of the Sex Pistols at a local pub. He ranted at them, saying that the Who were finished, that the Pistols needed to take over and “finish the job” … whatever that meant. He then dramatically ripped up his check and stomped on it several times. Jones and Cook looked perplexed and expressed their sorrow about a possible break-up of the Who, to which Townshend snarled “I’m disappointed in you!” and staggered off into the night. He passed out in a shop doorway and was awakened by a patrol man who told Townshend, “As a special treat, if you can get up and walk away, you can sleep in your own bed tonight.” Townshend made it home, passed out, and the next morning wrote “Who Are You?”

The version in this video is different than the version most people know. There’s some nice footage of the band, including Keith Moon who would soon pass away, goofing around and having a great time in the studio.

“Bad Timing: A Sensual Obsession” (1980) dir. Nicolas Roeg

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I can’t imagine a worse “date movie” than Nicolas Roeg’s psychotic 1980 masterpiece “Bad Timing: A Sensual Obsession.”  OK, maybe “Cruising,” “A Serbian Film,” or “Irreversible” would be worse … WAAAY worse.   But seriously, I don’t want you to underestimate how seriously f–ked up “Bad Timing” is.  Art Garfunkel and Theresa Russell probably deliver their best-ever acting performances as a mutually destructive couple from hell.  Russell’s character is the stereotypical slutty “crazy woman,” and Russell does play the part very well.  Garfunkel plays an unctuous, controlling, co-dependent psychiatrist scumbag who, we later learn, may actually be more deranged than Russell.  And, of course, there’s Harvey Keitel (the patron saint of f–ked-up cinema) playing a Viennese detective interrogating Garfunkel’s character about Russell’s suicide attempt, trying to play mind games with someone who is a master of the art.  A complex, well-acted, well-written, and well-directed journey into relationship hell.   It also has a great use of music, from Tom Waits to Billie Holiday to Keith Jarrett to the Who.

Here’s Roeg’s effective use of the Who’s “Who Are You” during a couple of crucial scenes:

It was released with an X-rating in the United States, due to nudity, sex, language, and extremely disturbing subject matter.  The Criterion Collection had the good taste to release it on DVD in the U.S. and you can watch it for free on Netflix streaming.  See it with someone you love.