The Swedish Pop Group the Army of Lovers are an acquired taste, one that we sadly cannot relate too. There were a totally fabricated group (they neither sing or dance) who appeared on the scene some 30 years ago with aspirations to be the next Abba.
According to their founder Alexander Bard (and the only one with a musical note in his head) the Army was always about a combination of high camp, outrageous costumes, sexually explicit lyrics. Their lip-synched highly theatrical performances all around Europe were poor imitations of punk, but they somehow found success, mainly in the underground clubs of that era.
Now with their performing dats all but over their front man, the always scantily clad Jean-Pierre Barda, a French-born Jew who was raised in Sweden, is about to make “aliyah” i.e. immigrate to Israel.
This documentary focuses on him as we see him gaining his citizenship, and then lounging on a chaise lounge half dressed holding court and pontificating about his life. Despite all his efforts to project a positive and happy front, there is a sadness to the 50-year-old who has now reluctantly returned to hairdressing.
On one hand he shares with us all the virtues of his new homeland but then lets slip that he has been back to Sweden several times in this first year At least Barda is realistic enough to know that the ‘Army ‘days are over but he is obviously struggling in what to do now out of the limelight.
The best parts of the documentary are when the cameras go beyond all platitudes that Bard in particularly loves to trot out, and we get a glimpse of them being their real unguarded selves. More of this would have made for a much better film.
This hour long documentary from Asaf Galay will no doubt appeal to lovers of queer history and of EuroTrash pop who actually like the band’s dubious mottos “More is more, less is a bore.”
(The Film can be streamed HERE)