Big Fat Independent Movies
Sending Off SXSW Film 04
Jandek on CorwoodD: Chad Freidrichs
Documentary Feature 24 Beats Per Second, Regional Premiere
Houston musician Jandek doesn't do interviews. He doesn't appear in public. His entire public persona consists of 35 whispery albums, their 35 grainy covers, and one 1985 interview he recorded before he dropped out of communication altogether. Not surprisingly, this has made him a bit of a cult figure among outsider music aficionados, who are naturally drawn to a guy who uses his untuned guitar like a drone as he moans out one angst-ridden dirge after another. (As the film's hypnotic score demonstrates, variety is not exactly Jandek's strong suit.) Director Freidrichs built his film around interviews with music journalists and the tiny body of Jandek artifacts, augmented with moody, metaphoric images inspired by the songs. Freidrichs manages to make a virtue of having few images to work with, repeating and manipulating them in a way that hauntingly echoes Jandek's obsessive introspection.