Tuesday, March 09, 2004

Going to keep it short for a few days. Worked (wrote) off and on for about 6 hrs yesterday, resulting in one 377 word document and a few paragraphs of notes, largely quotations. It would be good to improve on this today.

To my relief, Ackermania! more engaging on Sunday. I didn't realize that she was such a frequent performer in her own films. Her first film, Blow Up My Town (domestic silliness and suicide in a Brussels kitchenette), is about 13 minutes long, was made while she was 18, and could easily fit into a riot grrl festival. Great device, which I will steal in the unlikely event of moviemaking: "Music" is just her voice humming and la-la-laing along with the image. (Soundtrack is mostly, but not entirely, non-sync.)

Her first feature, from '74, I...you...he...she is more the sort of movie that has to be made than the kind that has to be watched. Think a cross between a Bruce Nauman video and '70s porno. Eats sugar from a bag; jacks off (male) truckdriver; has one-night stand with (female) friend who initially rejects her. Reads as a very 'young' film; I've read at least once that it was put together very quickly b/c she couldn't get the funding for Jeanne Dielmans w/o a previous feature.

Man With A Suitcase is a hour-long TV production from 1983 -- has a parergon feel, the sort of thing one might do between larger projects. But it's very engaging -- she's sublet her apartment to a huge American who seems to have no intention of leaving. She has writer's block; he -- typing in a mad clatter offscreen -- doesn't. She arranges her day to avoid him, eventually shutting herself in one room and ordering canned food and a camp stove, waiting. Another all-interior piece, much lighter in tone than Bomb My Town, but it does reach a surprising intensity near the end, when she's gone from piqued to passive-aggressive to pathological. The last shot, under the credits, where she's typing away furiously, now that he's finally left, is my idea (for obvious reasons) of a feel-good ending.

Lisa Kuta informs me of a "Double Life" (no 'the,' which makes it entirely different and worse) from Milwaukee; one s/t CD and one Albini'd 3-song EP. Their entry at Milwaukee Rocks contains the phrases "united with the intensity to create" and "raw but intensely full sounding"; also mentions that they have garnered "repetitive airplay" on college stations in Wisconsin and Michigan. Why do I imagine that they sound exactly like Arcwelder? (Actually, the one review I found indicates straighter metal.) Maybe they'll break up. (Actually, I'm thinking they already have -- EP is from 2001, link to bandsite goes nowhere, find no listings for the band after 2002, even when searched in conjunction w/ "Milkwaukee.")

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