Before their time, it seems, the purveyors of the soundtracks of our lives are parting ways with us, leaving legions of broken hearts. This past week, we lost another great: The Purple One. His Royal Badness. Prince. Like Bowie, Prince leaves behind a few celluloid impressions, including 1984's Purple Rain, showing Saturday, April 30 at the Eureka Theater at 7:30 p.m. ($5). As a film for film's sake it's pretty bad (skinny-dipping Apollonia notwithstanding), but as a showcase of its star's charisma and musical genius — "When Doves Cry," "Let's Go Crazy," "I Would Die 4 U" and the title track, "Purple Rain" — it is solid gold.
Sporting the original puffy shirt and a flowing purple coat, the 5-foot-2-inch Prince cuts an impressive figure as The Kid, a rising musician trying to make his mark amid personal and professional struggles, and win the heart of a beautiful singer. With curly black hair, sideburns and eyes so pretty you forget all notion of gender, Prince sings, squeals and sexes his way through 111 minutes of semi-autobiographical spectacle. Purple Rain, at its well-tailored heart, is quintessential rock 'n' roll: ambitious, angry, wounded and seeking redemption.
Hop onto the back of his bike and go riding down memory lane. If you miss it this time, catch it at the Arcata Theater Lounge on Friday, May 20 at 8 p.m. ($5).