Movies: Tone Deaf

For once, a movie that was better on television

Almost inevitably, great exercises in style deteriorate, through imitation and repetition, into mere stylization. So it is with The Singing Detective. Yes, Dennis Potter wrote the screen adaptation of his famous mini-series, which may be the best television show ever made. And, yes, all concerned with the film have labored on it with obvious love and respect. And, yes, all the TV show's moves are honorably replicated. Potter's hero, Dan Dark, is immobilized, in searing pain, by crippling psoriasis (as the writer himself was). Dark escapes into a fantasy world, imagining himself the hero of a movie based on an old...

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