With this trailblazing musical, writer-director-star John Cameron Mitchell and composer-lyricist Stephen Trask brought their signature creation from stage to screen for a movie as unclassifiable as its protagonist.
Raised a boy in East Berlin, Hedwig (Mitchell) undergoes a traumatic personal transformation in order to emigrate to the U.S., where she reinvents herself as an “internationally ignored” but divinely talented rock diva, characterized by Mitchell as a “beautiful gender of one.”
The film tells Hedwig’s life story through her music, an eclectic collection of original punk anthems and power ballads by Trask, matching them with a freewheeling cinematic mosaic of music-video fantasies, animated interludes, and moments of bracing emotional realism. A hard-charging song cycle and a tender character study, Hedwig and the Angry Inch is a tribute to the transcendent power of rock and roll.
In June, The Criterion Collection will be releasing a brand-new 4K digital restoration of the film, supervised by director John Cameron Mitchell and cinematographer Frank DeMarco. The massive list of special features includes audio commentary featuring Mitchell and DeMarco; a new conversation between members of the cast and crew, including Mitchell, DeMarco, composer and lyricist Stephen Trask, hairstylist and makeup artist Michael Potter, animator Emily Hubley, actor Miriam Shor, and visual consultant Miguel Villalobos; Whether You Like It or Not: The Story of Hedwig, an eighty-five-minute documentary tracing the development of the project from its beginnings in a New York club to its theatrical premiere at the Sundance Film Festival; deleted scenes; trailers and much, much more.