It would never have occurred to me that so many people would be curious about this one. But at least two dozen people have asked — despite the film never having had a public non-festival screening* — so I’m answering.
It shouldn’t work for a number of reasons. It’s a queer anthem. Its potency results exclusively from fucking with the gender binary. The song cannot function with a female vocalist. It’s a crap one-hit-wonder from 1997.
Indeed, White Town was not my first choice. That distinction goes to The Zombies’ classic “Time of the Season,” a song that I figured would well suit a 007-inspired title sequence while also containing lyrics that seemed rooted in the pageantry of a banal power exchange fantasy: “What’s your name? / Who’s your daddy? / Is he rich like me?”
Furthermore, this song was to be included in a soundtrack composed entirely of karaoke music sung by the cast and crew. Yeah. It all made perfect sense to me at the time, mostly because karaoke was the thing I did after work — dungeon row was a suburb of Koreatown — to prevent a quick descent into hereditary alcoholism. Instead of drinking Old Grandad, I’d weep my sober way through “One More Try” accompanied by a half dozen cruelly attractive gay men. (Yes, this happened.)
If the theme of REMEDY is pride, then the sub-theme of the film is catharsis. I was seeking post-shift release through other people’s poetry and bad synthesizers. The clients were seeking the outlet for their nagging dark urges, and their drug of choice was sexual cliche and stereotyping. Both solutions are valid and oddly parallel.
So at one point, I shot a prototype of this concept at my favorite karaoke joint Baby Grand. One friend, a cis-gendered female (!) no less, decided to sing “Your Woman.” I was stunned. First, I had completely forgotten about White Town. Second, every word seemed to reflect a perversion of The-Stripper-Really-Likes-Me Syndrome, performed in the style of the jaded sex-worker. More specifically, the jilted pro is serving her sour grapes to her “master-for-an-hour” with a bitter reduction of sarcasm. Because the truth of the matter is she could never be his woman — because she’s paid to be his woman.
I never even considered “Time of the Season” after that.
* I figured I should provide this disclaimer, just in case the licensing gods are reading.