Thursday, August 4, 2011

GAZE Film Festival; An uneducated review.

Having traded a painting for free reign upon a film festival; well, not really (I was volunteering as emotional support for the management team, tears fell, upon my inner elbow.) I, however, felt it necessary to gift these management members with paintings due to how much I genuinely got out of the festival.

Firstly, I am as much of a film critic as I am an art one.

I remember strolling around the Southbank Centre with an esteemed postgraduate college buddy, and as we took in the huge painting show unfolding before our captivated eyes, when asked how I was enjoying the show, my response was "s'good." This postgraduate roughly qualified us to become "art critics"... IMAGINE LIBERAL HAND GESTURES AROUND THOSE WORDS.

I WAS COMPELLED TO BLOG, as a few of the films have had a particular affect upon me, akin to mucous caught in my throat reminding me how cool I am when I have had a drunken cigarette. Yes, indeed, an irritating afterthought to being deadly. (p.s; smoking, cool!) And similar to the sometimes unpleasant nature of smoking,( the SCHTINK and the PHLEGM), some films, for me, were a point of endurance. (God, I sound so cool, I might buy some leather trousers now. *Gazes into potential future cool-ity.)

Two of my HUGEST FAVES had to be Tomboy and For 80 Days. They are both completely amaaaaaaaaazing and I urge to watch them IMMEDIATELY!

There are two other films I can't stop thinking about, though, and which I believe deserve an HONOURABLE MENTION, for when I reread this to myself at a later date - (my public readership being pretty much juuuuuuuust meeeeeeee) lucky that as i'm about to throw out some very questionable opinions...which naturally are wrong, as yoooooooooosual.

One being !Women Art Revolution; a film by Lynn Hershman Leeson

I've never had a film rekindle passion and formulate a new vigour outside of my persistent disillusionment and frustration with my own art practice. It was refreshing, and yet strangely familiar. The familiarity came from fluffy flowery things where i was about to use the words 'journey to a feminist awakening' when i stopped typing as i'd realised i'd vomited on myself and on Oprah Winfrey who was permeating my brain THROUGH MY KEYBOARD. Evil Witch.

A brief, and electrifying history of early feminist artistic practice, it shocked me how little I genuinely knew about that subject, and for me, having studied art for such a long time, I felt ashamed and saddened that much of my research had not discovered a huge portion of that history. That alone, makes this film hugely important. And I never think anything is important. which means something. Or something. (SEEEE? Criticism? Noh for me.)

The second one I can't shake was The Ballad of Genesis and Lady Jaye. Which had a profound affect upon me. So much so that I went into a rage having walked out of it. I was angry. Hurt and upset. I felt physically ill. I was actually going to vomit. Everyone else had those "it was brilliant" eyes, and I had that "Oh Jesus my conventional tastes strike again and further alienate me from the cool people" head on me. To me a huge part of it was the wanky shite I've had to endure by having had the misfortune to have to study intelligent things, and listening to people talk in that alienating abstract way about things I couldn't possibly understand. I think I was angry, because the outcome and poignancy of the film had absolutely nothing to do with the film itself. It became a portrait of lost love, of mortality, of mislayed identities, as a direct result of the reality of the subject matter and nothing to do with Genesis, or perhaps more importantly, to do with Lady Jaye. Which I angrily and grumpily doubted was even remotely its intention. Oh I had quite the frustrafrown.

I think I was angry mostly because when Genesis discussed their combined performative act of surgically manipulating each other to become one combined person, I felt that either he/she was being hugely insincere, or that this art project had failed spectacularly. And, if you are to consider my work, I am hugely fond of spectacular failure. Which is confusing. As I was so angry! Have I mentioned anger? ohsure just a foo times!

I think I hated that the film had become about Genesis. Lady Jaye's sudden death during the filming of the documentary transplanted it into something else entirely. It was a film about Genesis. Who had surgically manipulated him/herself to become a failed attempt at Lady Jaye. Mimicking her, badly. I was so profoundly sad about it that I had become angry. It had become for me a devastating portrait of the danger and significance of momentous love affairs. Looking at footage throughout the film, of Genesis' past as a dynamic, hugely attractive industrial punk star, his dynamism had been almost entirely erased, and he had become a physical hybrid of emotional loss. There was a physicality to his/her love and pain that was excruciatingly unavoidable. Naturally, being the selfish dickhead that I am I had made my reaction to this film all about myself, and my own little crushed heart. Thus realising that I am the bigger asshole in all situations.

But it was only then that I realised, having had all of these violent opinions that I don't ordinarily permit myself to have, that maybe, it had been completely incredible, even though it made me want to puke. Good puke? Always end your blog posts on an intelligent note Áine Macken. Sigh. Footnote; *"The end of criticism" - taken from the memoirs of Áine Macken.*