Billed as an experimental documentary, Becky, ya got yer space, babe… is a presentation of an unedited audio tape some guy made to a woman named Becky while he was on a five hour drive. Somehow the tape ended up in the hands of filmmaker Mike Dereniewski, and he made this film. As the audio plays, we see random footage of driving around, sometimes footage from a plane trip and other bits. Mostly the visuals just try to represent a long road trip to set the mood for what might have been happening while this guy recorded his tape.
And what a tape it is. Partly a weird travelogue and love ode to Becky, our unseen narrator talks about his work and salary, grooves along to some Phil Collins, shows support for Jay Leno and even gets in some disturbing sex prattle. It’s the type of unfiltered, stream of consciousness tape that maybe (and that’s a big maybe), you might record but, if you did record it, you would probably destroy immediately after. You know how awkward and unsettling that scene in the opening of Swingers is, when Jon Favreau’s character is leaving an answering machine message? Imagine that, for an hour.
It’s a voyeuristic gem that is almost painful to hear, but is also hard to ignore. It seriously is like living in this man’s head for an hour, with all the embarrassing elements that could entail. Sometimes it makes you laugh, other times the vulnerability makes you cringe. I don’t know if this guy and Becky ever made a full life together after this tape, but if they did, I wonder if more tapes like this exist.
As a film, it must be said that the audio is the big reason to watch it. Or not watch it, but just have it on in the room so you can listen. The visuals are fine, but they don’t enhance the listening much and, while they do, from time to time, try to match up what is being said with something relevant, mostly just go for setting the meandering mood of long travel. Had they gone with something more creative, like animation or like what was done in Kurt Cobain About A Son, then we might be talking about one of my favorite films of the year right now. As it stands, it’s up there for the brutal rawness of the audio, but the visual aspect did little for me, though I understand how the plain choice of visuals complements the unfiltered audio.
In the end, Becky, ya got yer space, babe… is a true found audio oddity; a man’s subconscious laid bare on purpose, in an attempt to entice a woman named Becky. I don’t know if it worked, but now it’s out there for us to enjoy.
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