After “A Bill Morrison film” it says “A Michael Gordon symphony”, assigning auteur credit separately over the soundtrack, a rare thing. I didn’t love the symphony, though – an undertone even more monotonous than Philip Glass with bombs-falling string-sliding atop it. I enjoyed the bit where percussion chattering along with the background rhythm sounded like an old TV news theme song. But next time I’ll just listen to a Pinback album instead.
Visuals are exciting, though – Fragments of narrative films (and science films and home movies and other weirdness) gone Brakhage (or less generously, gone Begotten) through decay, slowed down so we can appreciate the distinct frame-by-frame damage.
I don’t understand what property of film decay causes the picture to go negative, bright whites turning black while the rest of the picture looks unaffected, but I’ve never much understood the chemical side of film anyway. Elsewhere, scenes are obscured by dark blots, sunken under oily water and giant amoebas, or just torn to shreds.
Forget the Great American Scream Machine – this is the most terrifying carnival ride. Each car emerges from a burbling time/space warp on left side of the frame, to circle around and go back inside. At the end of the ride, whoever’s left inside the reality-warp is doomed to spend the rest of their days in a hellish alternate dimension.
Second best part here, a boxer fighting an amorphous column of decay