Daiana Feuer on
Singer-songwriter, visual artist and filmmaker Adam Green has shared a first glimpse into the world he’s created for a subversive adaptation of “Aladdin.” It’s a colorful, elaborate papier–mâché fantasy, with over 500 props and 30 rooms constructed out of phone books and newspapers, held together by glue and brought to life with bright paint. The film and 19-song soundtrack, written by Green, reinvents the tale as a story about Aladdin’s dysfunctional family, who live in a city ruled by a evil Sultan, inhabited by strange characters played by his friends.
In addition to some of the original roles, Green wrote in parts for Ralph the Rebel Leader, played by Macaulay Culkin; British Druggie Guy, played by Har Mar Superstar; and the Saucemaker, played by Devendra Banhart. The cast also includes Natasha Lyonne (Aladdin’s mom), Jack Dishel (Uncle Gary/Sultan), Alia Shawkat (Aladdin’s sister), Francesco Clemente (Genie), Bip Ling (the Princess), and Zoe Kravitz (Old Miner). While plenty of silliness should be expected, with the genie’s lamp re-imagined as a 3D printer, a planet that gets a sex-change, “and its population prints out an analogue version of the Internet,” Green’s opus tackles themes of technology, government repression, greed and, of course, true love.
The soundtrack and film will be released Apr. 15 via TGNP, toured around, plus adapted into immersive art shows wherein people will get to enter his crazy sets. “Aladdin” brings together all of Green’s artistic endeavors into one explosion, where his music mirrors his art and his film mirrors his music. He says, “You know how people are always looking for a unifying theory? I was looking for a unifying theory of artistic expression. I was trying to create some kind of fluidity within my music, art, writing. If you listen to my songs, you see they’re kind of cartoonish. I try to make songs like my paintings. When creating my movie, I approached the script like it was a song. … It has been the creative journey of a lifetime.”
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