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The Ballad of Genesis and Lady Jaye

MusicGenesis (music group)Music IndustryDocumentary (genre)Movies

This documentary is about musician and performance artist Genesis P-Orridge. Sure, I’m not in the target demographic. You mention Genesis to me, I’m asking “When Peter Gabriel sang, or Phil Collins?”

Supposedly this Genesis was an innovative and influential figure in the punk era, and founder of some industrial groups like Psychic TV and Throbbing Gristle. After combing performance art with “music,” in the ‘70s, they decided to do something completely different in 2000. Genesis began a series of sex reassignment surgeries in order to resemble the love of his life – Lady Jaye.

Early in the movie, we see him going to New York and hitting the clubs. He crashes at Lady Jaye’s place, being told he’d have to sleep in the dungeon. She’s a dominatrix and wears vintage clothing – all of which is right up his alley.

For the first 15 minutes of the movie, I was wondering if perhaps I needed to drop ecstasy to enjoy it. It certainly doesn’t have anything to do with not knowing the characters. I’ve seen many documentaries about people or professions I knew nothing about – and they were fascinating.

I even thought about the interesting Felicity Huffman movie Transamerica.

I seriously doubt anybody will care about these people. It’s strictly for their fans.

A lot of this stuff is uninteresting. A lot of it is just gross. And I really don’t care for watching attention seekers or people merely trying to shock you. How else can you explain Genesis urinating into a bottle? Call me old fashioned, but I prefer Time in a Bottle instead.

I was also disappointed that when I Googled these people, I found an interesting story about a lawsuit from an injury at legendary music producer Rick Rubins house. It resulted in a $1.5 million win for Genesis. Perhaps that helped fund some of the surgeries. That story was nowhere in this documentary.

Aside from their art just coming across as avant-garde garbage, the film has poor editing and an overall amateur feel.

One bizarre musician I like was in this – Peaches. A documentary on her would be a lot more interesting.

I don’t really care about listening to these two idiots drone on about how influential William Burroughs was.

I’m going to go put in singer/songwriter Stew’s wonderful song Naked Dutch Painter while I attempt to write a review of this. It’s a lot more interesting hearing somebody sing about “throwing fluorescent paint/accompanied by a Mingus tape,” in what’s called “performance art porno under trippy black light.”

Watching dopes jump around their bed and galleries doing this…a lot less so.

I’m glad the Reading Gaslamp shows movies like this. Usually you have to hit the Ken. I remember the Gaslamp showing the documentary Sex Magic last year and being surprised at how interesting it was.

At least this movie was only an hour and 10 minutes I had to endure.

It gets 1 star out of 5.

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