The Internet Swallowed INXS. Can a Movie Rescue Its Legacy?


In the opening scenes of the concert film “Live Baby Live, INXS bangs out “Guns in the Sky,” an anti-nukes anthem from its six-times-platinum 1987 album “Kick.” As beats reverberate across London’s old Wembley Stadium, the Australian rock band’s appeal leaps to life: funky guitar rhythms, saxophones, tight trousers and the soulful flow of the singer Michael Hutchence’s voice.

The movie, which captured the band’s July 1991 show before a crowd of nearly 74,000, has been fully restored from its original 35 mm print, and is rolling out in theaters across the globe in 4K Ultra HD; Monday it comes to America for a one-day-only event. It will be followed on Jan. 7 by “Mystify,” a biographical documentary about Hutchence directed by Richard Lowenstein. Taken together, this is a rare moment of visibility for a band that achieved global superstardom but has been notably absent in the digital age.

“It may seem preposterous, but I hope young musicians will see the film and say, ‘Let’s be different. Let’s be like this,’” Tim Farriss, one of the band’s founders and its lead guitarist, said of “Live Baby Live” in a phone interview from Australia.


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