Odds and Ends

Film Review by Dean Duncan Jun 29, 2015

As its title suggests, Jane Conger Belson Shimane’s film is quite pointedly miscellaneous. The picture track is a very nice compendium of art on film techniques. It mixes found footage, defamiliarized body parts, painted and cut-out abstractions. They’re put together with a nice combination of calculation and looseness. They’re also  served more or less straight.

The sound track, as often with avant garde films, is not meant to be subordinate to the picture, or merely to carry straightforward information. It’s very funny, and runs completely counter to what we’re seeing on the screen. A Bohemian is blabbing, saying intermittently and accidentally meaningful things—there is plenty of substance in what the avant-garde-ists were saying, or even just attempting—but the marked picture-sound disjunctions seem intended satirically, or indeed, just for fun. (Reminded me of the funny spoof of Beat poetry so central to Roger Corman’s 1959 film, Bucket of Blood.)

Both things are true—the substance and the silliness. Their cake, and eating it.