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POP MUSIC | POP EYE

Robyn, Not Alfred

December 08, 1996|Steve Hochman

Film director Jonathan Demme--who's directed Talking Heads' "Stop Making Sense" concert film, Bruce Springsteen's "Streets of Philadelphia" video and a half-hour performance film of Neil Young--is now training his cameras on another pop music figure. On Tuesday and Wednesday he'll shoot several concerts by English eccentric Robyn Hitchcock, with plans for a 90-minute feature to be released next fall, accompanied by a soundtrack album.

The shows (one the first day and two the second) will be held in an unused Manhattan building that once served as an employment center, with audiences of 100 to 150 fans who were recruited at a Hitchcock concert in New York last month. The focus, though, will be entirely on the performer for an aesthetic closer to Demme's "Swimming to Cambodia" film of monologuist Spalding Gray--a real talking head--than the conventional rock film. Given Hitchcock's penchant for telling odd tales between songs, the comparison might be apt.

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