Sinéad O'Connor

The Value of Ignorance [Video/CD]

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Sinéad O'Connor appeared at the Dominion Theatre in London on June 3, 1988, seven months after the release of her debut album, The Lion and the Cobra, her performance captured in director John Maybury's 37-minute film The Value of Ignorance. Maybury has almost no interest in presenting the show as a concert, however. He focuses his cameras almost exclusively on O'Connor's face in relentless close-ups, filling the screen with her shaven head and expressive eyes as she presses her nose and lips to the microphone. For variety, he uses visual effects: superimpositions of other ghostly images and filters that transform O'Connor's face as she sings, whispers, and screams. Seven of the eight selections are drawn from the nine tracks on The Lion and the Cobra, with only "Drink Before the War" and, oddly, the then-current single "I Want Your (Hands on Me)" missing. The final song, "I Am Stretched on Your Grave," looks forward almost two years to O'Connor's 1990 album I Do Not Want What I Haven't Got. Maybury's visual approach accentuates the intensity of O'Connor's performance, which is to say that he takes what is already her dominant characteristic and emphasizes it even more. She thrives under the scrutiny, however, her beauty and her fervor only reinforced.

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