[Jandek] Jandek on Corwood -- Beautiful Film
soolip at aol.com
soolip at aol.com
Thu Feb 19 23:41:17 PST 2004
Who knew there were so many Jandek fans? The statement that we could fit in a
VW Bug now seems absurd. The screening in Los Angeles tonight at the Egyptian
Theatre was attended by roughly 200 people -- a really good crowd for a
Thursday night. Copies of Corwood's current catalog were left out for people to
take (which they did), and Blue Corpse was played in the theater beforehand.
The film itself was about perfect. The filmmakers respected Jandek's mystique
and never gave away too much. Jandek's real name is never mentioned, nor is a
lot of other information -- which can be found on the Internet if one looks
hard enough. Instead, Jandek's "persona" is revealed through the perceptions of
others, the music itself, and some strikingly beautiful and complementary
images that were inspired by the song lyrics. You do get to see the post office
and the PO Box itself; eerie, but this of course does not let you in on a that
big of a secret. The interview with Katy Vine was wisely kept short, but is
still illuminating. During the Q&A which followed, Chad Freidrichs and Paul
Fehler (director and producer) confessed that they actually found out a lot more
than they put in the film (they did not elaborate), but thought that putting in
everything wouldn't serve their subject very well. It really is quite a
remarkable achievement to make a documentary that declines to answer the burning
questions, yet one which somehow satisfies. One lady in the audience expressed
that she was left wanting to know more (I suspect she was a fan's date and had
not heard of Jandek before) -- but this was not echoed by anyone else.
Personally, the film made me understand why the mystery of Jandek is integral to his
appeal. This is a highly successful production, and if you get a chance to see
it, do. Or get the DVD when it is released.
I spoke a little with Chad Freidrichs before and after the screening -- he's
a great guy, very approachable, so if you see him after a screening, don't
hesitate to tell him how much you liked the film.
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