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In Jim Jarmusch's spry, entertaining documentary on proto-punk pioneers the Stooges, we see a pre-Stooges Iggy Osterberg playing drums on a 16-foot riser that towers above his bandmates. He was not long for that band (the Iguanas), not long for the drums and not long for the three-syllable surname. Gimme Danger chronologically charts the chaotic rise, fall and reunion of shirtless Iggy Pop and his grungy, volatile crew of iconoclastic Michigan punks who wowed the critics but disappointed the record companies. Jarmusch stylishly employs animation, archival footage and playful appropriation of pop-culture moments, while Mr. Pop, a survivor of the rock wars, drug use and a David Bowie mentorship, is an engaging interviewee who does most of the talking. He recalls a schoolboy visit to an automobile-manufacturing plant, where the industrial noise was terrific to him. "I liked the mega-clang," he says. No kidding.

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