Quadrophenia (The Criterion Collection)
Reviewed by Luke Winkie, Fri., Aug. 31, 2012
Quadrophenia(The Criterion Collection)
London, early Sixties: Our hero Jimmy gets caught in the crosshairs of mods, rockers, amphetamines, and postwar culture shock. With narrative fleshing out the Who's conceptual double-LP Quadrophenia, nominal follow-up to Tommy, this 1979 film is a powerful reminder of group leader Pete Townshend's restless thirst for innovation. Preceding a massive (Texas-free) reunion tour for the recorded opus, the Criterion Collection has issued a definitive version of the Who's final film, dressing it up with a digital transfer and second disc of earnest retrospection. The picture still looks gloriously English, bolstered by a new Dolby mix, and director Franc Roddam with cinematographer Brian Tufano provide joyous commentary. Bonus features pack plenty of vintage clips, including a hilariously alarmist French special that aired at the height of the rocker/mod moral panic. There's nothing from Townshend, which makes the package feel slightly incomplete, but this Who relic finally receives a worthy reintroduction.