Film

Film

by

Since 1978, the enigmatic Jandek has released 34 records through the equally secret Houston-based Corwood Industries: atonal marathons of ghostly koans and mental-ward blues, performed over gangrenous guitar. His uneasy output lies at the border of the listenable—would anyone but a journalist find the Jandekalogue worth wading through? Chad Friedrichs’s doc has too many rock-crit talking heads, too often saying the same thing based on scant information—a clumsy portrait of the artist that inadvertently serves as a mirror of the critical faculty itself. Writer Katy Vine actually tracked down the reclusive Texan, but her account of an immaculately dressed man, refusing to talk about the music but inviting her to a bar, is diminished by the pedestrian visuals (cuff links, glass of beer). What we see doesn’t do justice to perhaps Jandek’s true aesthetic achievement—album cover art as unified and resonant as the Smiths’.

Most Popular