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DIE STIMMEN VON ODDSAC

ODDSACDas im Juni erscheinende „visual album“ von Animal Collective, „ODDSAC“ USA 2010, 53 min, R: Danny Perez), war zuerst in New York zu sehen. Derick Rhodes war dort und sprach mit Danny Perez, dem Regisseur. Lesen Sie hier die englischsprachige Originalversion des redaktionell bearbeiteten und gekürzten Textes aus OPAK #5.
Weiterführende links inklusive.

Allow me to generalize, and then to be specific, and then to generalize again.

There are times at which a work of art may move you deeply, or cause great consternation, or take you somewhere you never imagined going, and there are also times when a work of art may frighten you, or make you more secure, or give you reason to believe that you, alone, have a been allowed into a secret-but-completely-imaginary club.

This might be one of the above times for you. Or maybe not. If I could decide for you – on your behalf – I would say to keep an open mind, just in case.

We are inconsistent. “Ich-Maschine” may always take her back to THAT SUMMER. Something else, some other book or film or installation or random conversation with another passenger on a train, will never have a summer attached to it, much less a long evening. Summer itself might be the wrong time for Francis Bacon, sometimes, or – at some other point – the only time. Oftentimes the experience approached with the fewest items on our laundry list of assumptions results in the richest rewards. Though, sometimes, it’s just the opposite.

ODDSAC was realized by Danny Perez, a Philadelphia-based video artist, in collaboration with Animal Collective, a musical group originally from the Baltimore area that now, in parts, lives in New York City and Lisbon. Briefly and generally: The music of Animal Collective has tumbled from wide-open sonic experimentation – a collective obsession with/fixation on noise and atmosphere, over the course of eight albums (beginning in 2000), to an increasing-but-still-loose sense of experimenting with more conventional pop structures. The focus of their live shows has always been on the experience of the sound and visuals, rather than on the individual members of the band as pop singers.

Likewise, ODDSAC is less about getting to know a group of people than it is about immersion in an experience. Characters might appear and disappear, but they never stick around long enough for us to peg them (with the possible exception of the vampire).

A few days ago, I was working on my laptop in my bedroom, when I heard a fight erupt on the street outside. A black man was screaming, “Call me nigger again! Call me nigger again! Get out of the car and say it to my face! Call me nigger again!” at a white man in his car, having gotten out of his own car (a minivan) in the middle of the street. A number of people, pedestrians and shopkeepers and whoever, had stopped to watch the confrontation, smelling blood.

While Danny understands, “the viewer’s need to put something in a category in order to relate to it,” he also feels that it’s important for ODDSAC to “exist in its own format,” beyond the world of the gallery installation, the conventions of the music video format (he’s made two videos for Animal Collective songs), or the typical structures of conventional narrative filmmaking. “There is a lot of intention in the cuts and editing and sequencing of ODDSAC,” he wrote to me from Paris in mid-March, “and in some ways it will control you in a bad way or a good way depending on your disposition. I think the people that will have the best viewing experience are those that are open to it taking them where it wants.”

Where is it, though, that a man who, “used to present collages with crocodiles eating antelope superimposed with all the sex scenes from Basic Instinct” via “a TV station in the all-guys Catholic high school” he attended in the 90s – a director who cites inspirations as disparate as the sublime, spiritually charged films of Jordan Belson and the groundbreaking 1940s work of John and James Whitney alongside such grotesque 1980s cult horror movies like “Street Trash” – wants to take us?
After having had a chance to view the film at a recent screening here in NYC, and then in corresponding with Danny about its creation over a four-year period, I think what resonates (in a manner similar to that of the music of Animal Collective), is the willingness of the filmmaker to combine and juxtapose seemingly incongruous aesthetics as a means of achieving a kind of transcendence – and the boldness and courage it takes to make something new.
Or, far more simply (though a little deceptively) put by Perez, it’s about, a “variety of inputs creating its own output.”
On the interplay between the band’s music and his process in making the film, Danny highlight several intersections of mutual influence – times at which each side of the equation drove and inspired the other:
“There were moments from previous (Animal Collective) incarnations and albums that I loved and wanted to be present in the overall texture of ODDSAC,” Danny wrote, “but at the same time, there would be moments where I would get a track and it would throw me for a complete loop in the best way possible. That was the way I was able to keep going and stay interested for so long.”
Whether or not each and every viewer can connect with the wide-ranging (and often somewhat chaotic) sources for the languages he uses in this groundbreaking, beautiful and brave “visual album,” there is no doubt that its overall effect is unique, beyond being beholden to the conventions of any specific form, and completely done on its own terms, and is, therefore, 100% punk.

Links/References/Things to Explore

ODDSAC Trailer
Animal Collective “Summertime Clothes (Directed by Danny Perez)
Animal Collective “Who Could Win a Rabbit” (Directed by Danny Perez)
John & James Whitney’s – “Five Film Exercises” Film 1 (1943)
Stereolab’s “Brakhage” (featuring the work of Stan Brakhage)
Street Trash Trailer

TEXT: Derick Rhodes | RESSORT: Film, OPAK #05
3. Mai 2010 | Kommentieren | Trackback setzen | Kommentare als Feed



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