In the world of directors Madge is definitely not the next Godard; she’s closer to a less hyperactive Jonas Åkerlund actually. Her debut film Filth & Wisdom is anything but filthy and even less wise. It’s as if she decided that taming her film’s content would lend her more credibility, when all it does in reality is instigating yawns. And the wisdom part… well, taking advice from any of these characters, you do at your own risk.
The intersecting storylines have all been done before, some of them even seem yanked right out of Madonna music videos (quite a limited catalog of subject matter, you might agree). The only cool addition for me was the pivotal character, narrator and lead singer for the New York-born, self-proclaimed gypsy-punk band Gogol Bordello. A personal sample of their music for the uninitiated is provided for you below.
Filth & Wisdom appears to have an underlying subplot which explains the “origin” of the hit song “Wanderlust King” by Gogol Bordello. It’s really not necessary for you to see the “back story” in the film before taking a listen to the song, though. In fact, you’d probably thank me.
If you’ve never heard or seen Gogol Bordello, you don’t know what you’re missing. These guys are at turns hilarious and riotous, with fun, scream-along, late-night, vodka-soaked, nearly genre-unclassifiable songs and one hell of a live show. Start wearing purple!