Michael's Behaviour Upset Film-Maker During China Doc
Eighties band WHAM! infuriated Scottish film-maker LINDSAY ANDERSON with their "inflated egos" during the making of a 1984 documentary in China. The British pop duo, comprised of GEORGE MICHAEL and ANDREW RIDGELEY, invited Anderson to film them as they became the first Western artists to perform in communist China, for WHAM! IN CHINA: FOREIGN SKIES. However, Anderson was thrown off the project by the group's record label Sony after bosses decided his film didn't include enough footage of the pop heart-throbs. An archive of papers, bequested to Scotland's Stirling University following Anderson's death of a heart attack in 1994, have now been published, revealing the tension between the pop stars and the IF... director. In the papers, Anderson accuses Michael of having an "inflated ego", who ruined his "beautiful" film. Anderson wrote, "(Michael is a) shivering aspirant plucked out of the street, who turns almost overnight into a tyrant of fabulous wealth, whose every command his minions must dash to execute. "(The film was based on) arbitrary orders form George Michael, who doesn't know what he's talking about. "I was struck by his total disinterest in China. His vision only extends to the top 10." Stirling University archivist KARL MAGEE understands why Wham! were so unhappy with Anderson' film, saying, "It wasn't a fast-cut MTV-style video but a slow fly-on-the-wall type of film which had probably more about China in it than it did about Wham!. In Anderson's version there are only four songs performed by Wham! and they happen at the end of the film."