If the X factor is that indefinable charisma that gives a performer star power, the late Michael Hutchence had it in abundance. On stage, the INXS singer took moves from Jagger, Jim Morrison and Iggy Pop and transformed into a serpentine, almost supernatural presence. In Mystify, a new documentary by his longtime collaborator Richard Lowenstein, he fills the screen, but slides in and out of focus, as though untouchable.
Which, in death, he is. It’s now 22 years since Hutchence took his own life in a Sydney hotel room. Lowenstein says his film is an apology, of sorts, that he wasn’t there for his friend. When the surviving members of INXS saw his film, Lowenstein tells Guardian Australia, he saw “all these people still incredibly damaged, not by the ups and downs of being in a band with Michael Hutchence, but the damage done by his departure. He’s left this huge hole in everyone.”
Mystify is not a standard rock documentary. There are no talking heads, and there’s no narrator. Instead, Lowenstein relies entirely on archival footage – much of it shot by the singer himself, or by his intimate partners, including Kylie Minogue – with his story told as an off-camera oral history by associates, lovers, and mother figures, in particular INXS’s manager in the US, Martha Troup.… Read more..