© Happy Entertainment/24 Bilder

Mystify: Michael Hutchence
Australia 2019

Opening 30 Jan 2020

Directed by: Richard Lowenstein
Writing credits: Richard Lowenstein

Michael Hutchence was born January 22, 1960, in Sydney, Australia. His parents, Patricia and Kell, took him and his brother Rhett to Hong Kong, where the parents worked in the film business, cruising through the night life, while the brothers spent lonely times in hotels. In the 1970s the family returned to Sydney. His parents separated and Patricia took Michael, now 14 years old, with her to Los Angeles, leaving 12-year-old Rhett behind as the abandoned son. Two years later Michael returned to Sydney and joined the three Farriss brothers (Tim, Andrew, and Jon,) together with Garry Gary Beers and Kirk Pengilly, to become the lead singer of a band call Farriss Brothers. In 1977 they became INXS rising slowly on the charts to their great achievement in 1986 with the album “Kick.” In 1992, while riding a bicycle in Copenhagen, Hutchence was the victim of an attack by a taxi driver which caused permanent brain damage and loss of taste and smell. He already suffered from anxiety and depression and this attack worsened the situation. He died November 22, 1997, just 37 years old.

Director Richard Lowenstein worked with Michael Hutchence over the years, creating his videos, as well as the film Dogs in Space, 1986, in which Hutchence plays a part. Lowenstein had a full source of archives, partly because the press hounded Hutchence his whole life, and also because band and family members cooperated extremely well. We learn about various girl friends: Michele Bennett (who stood by him his whole life, even after they were no longer a couple), Helena Christensen, Kylie Minogue, and Paula Yates (who at the time was married to Bob Geldof) with whom he had a daughter Tiger Lily. Michael loved music, art, painting, and reading books and poetry. He always wanted to be recognized as a “real” artist and not just a pop star. “Mystify” is one of INXS’ 26 songs which we enjoy in this film – a film which we must see, not only because of the music, but in order to learn about the intense life of a talented human being faced with overpowering influences and circumstances. (Becky Tan)

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