Sign O’ The Times

Deftly and seamlessly integrating live performances in Antwerp and Rotterdam with thematically related interludes shot in his Minneapolis studio, Prince’s 1987 concert film starts fairly effectively and builds steadily from there. Leroy Bennett’s lighting and production design and Peter Sinclair’s cinematography both help to make this a rousing show, full of sound and fury and signifying plenty, but Prince remains the undisputed auteur. The rapid editing recalls the scattershot method of certain rock videos, but the cinematic and musical savvy with which this is done avoids the coitus interruptus of The Cotton Club: the overall spectacle is enhanced, not curtailed or compromised. Dancer Cat Glover and (especially) drummer Sheila E. shine in these razzle-dazzle surroundings; Dr. Fink (keyboards) and Atlanta Bliss (trumpet) play Now’s the Time much too fast and still manage to swing; and Prince himself, passing through a spectrum of costumes and sexual roles, is never less than commanding, as performer, composer, and director. Songs include Hot Thing, I Could Never Take the Place of Your Man, The Cross, If I Was Your Girlfriend, Play in the Sunshine, Forever in My Life, and the title tune. (JR)

This entry was posted in Featured Texts. Bookmark the permalink.