JUNK Image


By Allen White | March 22, 2000

This film lives up to its name, in that it’s an experimental pseudo-narrative (or non-narrative) that toys with every hip quasi-intellectual idea of the last 50 years. It digs through discarded heaps of deconstructionist art-wank like a scrap dealer searching for gold in a garbage dump, but never scores. Filmmaker Roddy Bogawa swallows several college textbooks worth of semiotics, then regurgitates a thin, half-digested bile of Chris Marker, stock footage, Yukio Mishima, French New Wave cinema, Andy Warhol, and nonsensical linguistic claptrap designed to be “deep.” He overreaches enormously, and drowns in his own pretentiousness. The Marker references come hot and heavy in the form of elliptical narration, cryptic title cards that never relate to the images (“A History of Forms,” “Restless Reflections,” “Cannibalize the Wreckage”), and even a blatant “La Jetee” reference with a pointless scene in a French Airport. The characters speak in epigrams (“Epiphany comes every day. Understanding is overrated.”), and the bargain-basement art design attempts to evoke a pseudo-cyberpunk feel, with random bits of technological detritus thrown in for good measure. In short, the work stinks of student-film-itis, and wallows in its own immaturity and plagiarism like a self-satisfied hog. Just to reinforce the fact that it’s “cool,” its soundtrack includes cuts from such bands as Coedine, Fugazi, and Steel Pole Bath Tub. God, aren’t we just cutting edge?

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