Collaborations are tricky, as Julie Taymor and Bono can tell you: what begins as a good idea often culminates in a bloody game of artistic push and pull, usually with the slightly less talented partner emerging victorious. It can end in mutual destruction (Bobby and Whitney) or mutual obnoxiousness (She & Him). But every so often, a pairing comes along that sires a creative force that might just be too great. This week, it’s Gary Oldman and Jack White, teaming up to produce White’s live Blunderbuss-promo webcast on April 27th, with Oldman taking the director’s chair. Spheres will collide.
While the question foremost in our mind concerns how these two, from seemingly polar ends of the entertainment industry (albeit with a similar sainted status within it) became acquainted, much less decided to work together (emails were involved), we must pause to consider the extreme oddness of Oldman’s directorial credits. There was 1997’s Nil by Mouth, a Ray Winstone-starring drama, and the music videos for Jonathan Clark’s “All Be There” and Alex Eden’s “Kiss Me Like the Woman You Loved”. One wonders what the criteria is for Oldman to get behind a project–for in trying to find a common link between these projects, we have come up short. In any case, there’s no doubt that the webcast will be a raging success–our only hope is that someone has the foresight to make a behind-the-scenes documentary, replete with scenes of White working his hair into its perpetual state of Cure-like distress and Oldman taking breaks to play his ukulele.