When Simon LeBon of Duran Duran wrote these lyrics he had no idea that his good friend Michael Hutchence would be found dead some months later in a hotel room in Sydney. It’s been more than 20 years now and still Michael’s legacy lives on. After all, INXS only wrote some of the most recognizable hit-anthems of the late 80s-90s. Hard to miss that.
Rock idol, sex icon, fearless performer, loving father, loyal friend, Hutchence seemed to have such a multi-layered personality. Exuding sensuality, but also showing his vulnerable side through his lyrics and performances, he earned the title of the archetypal rock showman. His relationships with beautiful women (including Kylie Minogue, Helena Christensen and Paula Yates to name a few) made the press go crazy over this “bad boy”, the rockstar who seemed to be living “in excess”, as the band’s name is rightly pronounced. But he was never reported to have the crazy rude behavior that often goes with that lifestyle. Instead, he remained really close with his band mates, making friends everywhere he went and leaving everyone talking about him with the best of words.
Friend and collaborator Richard Lowenstein is no exception. Which makes him just the right person to bring a documentary that celebrates the phenomenon that was Michael Hutchence to life. Instead of focusing on his tragic end, “Mystify: Michael Hutchence” attempts to show how this original rockstar balanced his personal life and his career, his relationship with the band and his take on stardom. Instead of a bunch of talking heads, Lowenstein cleverly mixes home videos and never before seen behind-the-scenes material with taped interviews and sound bites to compose a film that tells the story of the man that no matter what managed to stay grounded and true to his art.
Don’t miss the “Mystify: Michael Hutchence” (2019) Dutch premiere, on 14th October in Paradiso, followed by a Q+A with the director. In Edit will be there.
*Featured image: Peter Carrette Archive / Getty Images