Let’s state the obvious: If you have ever followed Michael Hutchence and INXS, this fabulous documentary is an absolute must-see!
Mystify Michael Hutchence is directed by Melbourne filmmaker and long term INXS associate Richard Lowenstein. What I loved was how it wasn’t full of interviews showing faces of the interviewees. It has a voice-over commentary played over a fabulous video montage. This montage includes clips from Michael’s family, INXS band members, former girlfriends including Kylie Minogue and Helena Christensen and music industry friends including Bono and Jenny Morris.
It begins with Michael’s early years, when he, Kirk Pengilly and the Farris brothers were a young band. At the time, they were just getting famous and he was a very active rockstar and the life of the party. It continues on through INXS’s fabulous success with the summer of 1991 when INXS performed at London’s Wembley Stadium to a sellout crowd of more than 70,000 people. It is this outstanding oncert footage with their unforgettable hits that will remind any INXS fan why they loved these Aussie boys.
There are home videos Michael took of him and Kylie Minogue on a beautifully romantic holiday in Hong Kong, with Kylie’s voiceover remembering these happy times. Then she recalls their breakup where she admits that Michael in fact, DID “break my heart”.
What follows is a slew of clips of his time with another well known girlfriend, Danish supermodel Helena Christensen. Helena recalls the horrible day in Copenhagen when Michael was punched by a taxi driver and when he fell, his head hit the kerb. What resulted was a brain injury, which unbeknown to many of us, completely changed the rest of his life. Not only did he lose his senses of taste and smell, there was an unfortunate change in Michael’s character, where his humour and charm was replaced by aggression.
In what may be seen as cruel irony, it was close to this time when he became involved with Paula Yates, wife of Bob Geldof and became fair game to the global paparazzi.
This is the best documentary on Michael Hutchence that I have ever seen. The way it has been set up with interview commentary over video montage is just brilliant. As is the story of the brain damage. I could not remember this and it does make his behaviour in his final years a bit more understandable.
More than 20 years after his death, Mystify Michael Hutchence is such an amazing reminder of what a talent Michael Hutchence was.
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