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Nomi Song, The [Import]
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Born Klaus Sperber in Essen, Germany, Nomi dressed like an alien, sang like an angel, and electrified new wave-era New York. The classically trained tenor moved to the US in the 1970s. Influenced by Maria Callas, Marlene Dietrich, and 1950s sci-fi films, the "opera-singing pastry chef," as writer Glenn O'Brien described him, developed a unique look and sound that stood apart from every other act to emerge from the East Village. At the height of his fame, he caught the eye of David Bowie, with whom he performed on Saturday Night Live in 1979. Unfortunately, his AIDS-related death in 1983 curtailed any chance to reach a wider audience. Andrew Horn's evocative portrait rises above the ordinary by documenting a scene as much as its most original participant. Aside from a wealth of archival material, The Nomi Song includes interviews with Kenny Scharf and Ann Magnuson (but alas, no Bowie). --Kathleen C. Fennessy --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Buy this as a souvenir of a time that was filled with so many possibilities and so much tragedy. Klaus's life was certainly filled to the brim with both.
Born Klaus Sperber in Germany, Nomi became part of New Wave movement in New York in the late 70s. And his eccentric style is still amazing to see. Tightly clad in the bizarre costumes coming directly from grade-B sci-fi films with completely white-wasked face, Nomi appears as if giving an oracle, and when he starts to sing, what a song! His is curious blend of pop and opera with beautiful falsetto. He is literally a singing alien.
This documentary consists of the interviews with those how knew Nomi. What is revealed here may not be surprising to the viewers who have some knowledge about Nomi, but to the people like me, who are interested in the 70-80s, the comments and footages about him and the surrounding NY club scenes are still precious. Sure, most of the footages are private films with bad image and sound quality, but they still vividly bring the feeling of the times to life.
Probably the most interesting moment in the film would be the song of David Bowie on Saturaday Night Live in 1979, in which Klaus Nomi appears one of the backsingers. Clearly this is, or should be, the turning of Nomi's career, and after this point, many interviewees, quite honest about Nomi's complex personality, are not always kind to his behaviors.
Though Nomi is gone forever, his originality can be still felt if you watch the film. With the lack of some materials (for instance, Bowie or the artists in Japan who briefly worked with him), and with less than satisfactory comments from Nomi himself, 'The Nomi Song' may not be as incisive as it should be, but still intriguing even for non-fans of Nomi. Watch this, and buy his CDs if you want something very different.
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