Newest Review: ... with little success. Here she muses with her creative director Will Baker (responsible for this film) that she changed her mind ab... more
A personal potrayal of Kylie? Barely even scratches the surface.
Kylie Minogue - White Diamond / Showgirl Homecoming (DVD)
Member Name: bilbob20
Kylie Minogue - White Diamond / Showgirl Homecoming (DVD)
Advantages: The concert is a 2 hour extravaganza
Disadvantages: The film is nothing more than a lengthy documentary about the making of a concert
Cited as a personal potrayal of Kylie Minogue, this is slightly flimsy stuff. Disc 1 is a film that originally aired at the cinema in November 2006, following Kylie's comeback from breast cancer to the stage to complete her Showgirl tour; renamed Homecoming for Australian audiences who had waited 18 months to see her. Disc 2 is the concert itself; an epic 2 hour theatrical experience that updates the original Showgirl theme with a little more grit and edge.
The title comes from a song that Kylie wrote during her treatment and originally recorded with Scissor Sisters. A high octane dance number, it is recreated for this film as a ballad with long time collaborator Steve Anderson. The film follows Kylie over the months that her treatment ended, as she prepared to return to the stage. Although the film is no great reveal, we do get to see a rather more personal side to Kylie that shows her often tired, sometimes a little withdrawn but generally the upbeat smiley woman that we know her to be. It also shows her to focus a little too much on work, surrounding herself not by friends, but by work colleagues.
Over the course of the film, we are treated to a behind the scene's look at the making of a Kylie Minogue stage extravaganza, as well as a bit of a catch up with Kylie herself as she mulls over the fact that she hates to reveal too much of herself to the public. This has generally been true of her for many years, as she has battled to keep much of her private side out of the newspapers, with little success. Here she muses with her creative director Will Baker (responsible for this film) that she changed her mind about this film many times. When asked what she would like to see cut out of the film, she jokes "All of it". There are many little asides like this that show Kylie as quite an articulate and funny woman, often glossed over by interviewer's only interested in her latest boyfriend, the size of her bum and whether she's had botox or not.
The moments where Kylie talks about her cancer are quite poignant, although its blatantly obvious that she isn't at all comfortable or ready to discuss it. Quite why she allowed this film to be made is anybody's guess. The details of the diagnosis are quickly glossed over, and her dark places only alluded to for a few moments. Since this film was made, it has been business as usual for Kylie. The film is indicitive of the type of person she is, quick to get on with it, not interested in dwelling on the darker side of her life. That has always been reflected in her music, and her public persona. Here, though, it makes for a slightly tedious watch. For Kylie afficiando's like myself, it is still a treat, but for anybody else it may just be 2 hours too long.
The soundtrack to White Diamond is lovely. We get to hear a rare side to Kylie herself as she gently belts out old jazz standards such as "I'm Hip", "You Are There" and "Diamonds Are A Girls Best Friend". Fans have been calling out for her to move in this direction for a few years now as her voice is far more suited to these types of songs now than the poppier material that she continues to record. There are also other suitable additions to the soundtrack such as Liza Minelli's "Rent" and a composition that Kylie recorded that Madonna wrote for her called "Alone Again". A surprise appearance by Bono, who joined Kylie on stage at Homecoming to perform a sensational version of "Kids", is also amusing as he talks about his love for the diminutive diva.
Kylie returns to the stage to complete her groundbreaking Showgirl concert. Something has changed though. She seems more at ease this time round. The original Showgirl tour will always be remembered for being the tour that got interupted because Kylie was diagnosed with breast cancer. She looked ill, in hindsight, during those shows. Gaunt and thin would be the best description. Although not entirely back to full health, Homecoming shows a healthier looking Kylie adding some much needed depth to proceedings. The costumes have changed, the setlist has been slightly altered and her voice is in tremendous form. Hear "Over The Rainbow" and a jazzed up "Locomotion" for examples of how her voice has improved.
The show itself is largely altered, most likely to allow Kylie to conserve more energy. The costumes are occasionally hideous, almost a deliberate attempt to cover her body completely, and there is nothing as remarkably outstanding as the original Showgirl diamond encrusted corset. The tracklist consists of such classic hits as I Should Be So Lucky, I Believe In You, Confide In Me, On A Night Like This, Spinning Around, What Do I Have To Do and Shocked. It also features the Scissor Sister version of White Diamond. What Kylie also does, though, is throw in references to other artists from her 20 year career as a little nod to the music that has influenced her. Madonna's Vogue and Yazz's The Only Way Is Up are dropped onto Kylie's own beats, as well as Wish Upon A Star and Kylie's own rendition of Over The Rainbow as she hovers above the audience on a crescent moon.
In fine voice, but not neccessarily fine health, Kylie's Homecoming concert remains a triumph nonetheless. Kids was performed with both Bono and Dannii Minogue - both seen on the White Diamond film - but the version that makes the final cut of the concert is just Kylie herself. This concert is purely about her and her return to the stage. Her interactions with the audience are as scripted as an episode of Neighbours, but are touching just the same. You can see the Dannii duet on the extra's on this DVD and the Bono duet is available on the CD release of the Homecoming concert which gave Kylie her 11th Top 10 UK album.
This is definitely one for the fans. I dont really know many people who would find the White Diamond film intruiging. As likeable as Kylie is, her refusal to give too much away about herself make her a slightly boring subject, but the concert is a definite must for anybody who likes her music. The fact that you get both in the one box makes it worthwhile but I gather most people who purchase it will only ever give the film one spin and head straight for Disc number 2.
Summary: 2 discs showing Kylie's return to the stage