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Spice World Redux

from Interview


By Rachel Hodin

Turn on Spice World today, and I promise it will confound you. So many things about the movie don’t make sense. So many things defy the basic rules of narrative, with characters left unexplained and subplots unresolved—but that’s what makes it so captivating and fun. How exactly did this poppy, cinematic romp get made? It’s one of the greatest mysteries of pop culture, and one that, on the occasion of the movie’s 20th anniversary, I’m determined to resolve.

As pointed out on the podcast How Did This Get Made?, Spice World got away with ignoring the most basic tenets of moviemaking and screenwriting. Spice World has no real plot, and no end goal—there’s no real story arc at all, for that matter. The girls pinball from place to place, studio to studio, and rehearsal to rehearsal, each one suited up in her respective coat of character armor. Then, with 10 minutes to go in the movie, the band’s “first live show at the Royal Albert Hall”—fleetingly mentioned in one of the film’s first scenes—becomes the movie’s climactic narrative. Will they or won’t they pull off their first live concert? Thing is, the girls have already performed live only a couple scenes prior—not to mention in the first scene—but this is the grand finale, the moment we’ve all been waiting for. Apparently.

Then, there’s the Spice Bus—which, while certainly a sight to impress even Austin Powers, tricked-out with fairytale ’90s-era gadgets and toys—is also about 12 times the absolute maximum size that any bus interior could feasibly be. It’s a full-on dreamscape, and one that production designer Grenville Horner remembers fondly. “The Spice Bus was fantastic,” he told me over the phone. “It was just fun. You totally invent it; it’s not like anything you’ve ever come across.”

[ click to continue reading in Interview ]

Posted on January 24, 2018 by Editor

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