Graffiti Bridge

(Prince, USA, 1990)


Being a devotee of both Purple Rain (1984 – whatever the heck happened to director, Albert Magnoli?) and Sign O’ the Times (1987 – a magnificent concert film), I was hanging out for Graffiti Bridge, the third film directed by Prince.

Sadly, it’s a real dud.

It takes up the story of The Kid from Purple Rain six years later, as he moons over his dead Dad, ignores his institutionalised Mom, and finds the spiritual strength within to win back his audience, with a little help from a sexy angel named Aura (Ingrid Chavez).

The naive sermonising, the obsessively bad poetry, the silly, coy homoerotic banter carried over from Under the Cherry Moon (1986), the gender-bent but forever sexist male posturing – none of this would bother me if the film had some fire, some of that fertile, delirious interchange between melos and drama that made Purple Rain so unique.

But at least Graffiti Bridge retains some of the old, engaging home-movie amateurism of Purple Rain (as well, obviously, as the great music), and pushes even further into loose-limbed, sprawling, democratic multi-character narrative.

Prince and Joel Schumacher in his pre-Falling Down mode: now there’s a meeting I’d like to see on screen.

© Adrian Martin November 1991

Film Critic: Adrian Martin
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