This low-key doc about lost-and-found Other Music cult hero Gary Wilson so sweetly underplays its hand that even the most jaundiced skeptics of Jandek worship come out simply rooting for the safe passage of town weirdos everywhere. We start with testimonials from hipsters who kept Wilson’s home-recorded 1977 jazz-punk album You Think You Really Know Me in rare-vinyl currency though the man moved west and fell off the grid. Michael Wolk’s slack detective story follows Motel Records’ search for Wilson, but the film’s inquiry moves beyond him to highlight the righteous enthusiasm of champions at his new label and the still-puckish verve of Wilson’s old friends—hometown misfits who followed their “Prune King” leader (and his mean pet duck) to forest séances and sonic fields unknown. Wolk also includes the insights of a young Endicott, New York, high school teacher who weaves Wilson’s iconoclasm into the civic history of the boom-bust town. By the time we meet horror-film-obsessed porn store clerk Wilson, who heads upstate to salvage John Cage scores still tucked into basement walls, his effect on others has become as intriguing as really knowing him anyhow.
This article from the Village Voice Archive was posted on February 8, 2005