[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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