Sunday, July 26, 2015

Film Fest Day 5

Philip Dadson: Sonics from Scratch

Like I said a couple posts ago, one of the benefits of ushering is you get to see films you would not normally go out of your way to see. 

This documentary is about Philip Dadson, the creator of From Scratch and the Scratch Orchestra. For laymen such as myself, he creates music out of sounds that he finds -- from old pipes to a pair of rocks he finds on a beach. He works like a sculptor, building a collection of sounds out of collections of found objects, which he and his collaborators use to shape into unique musical pieces.

This movie was interesting, but not that illuminating. The movie tries to jam in his entire career, but it felt like an outline rather than an in-depth examination of the man and his music. This movie reminded me of a documentary on the sound artist Trimpin I saw at the festival a few years back (The Sound of Invention). That documentary felt far more in-depth, mainly because it managed to develop a portrait of the man and his work by focusing it around his plans for a new art installation. If this documentary had a similar narrative spine, it would have resonated more. As is, it covers too much ground in too short a running time.

However, if you are interested in one of New Zealand's less well known artists, it is worth a look -- if only for an overview.

If you are keeping score:

Girlhood: Good
Clouds of Sils Maria: Very good
'71: Great
The Lobster: Very good
I Am Thor: Good
Peggy Guggenheim - Art Addict: Very good
A Girl Walks Home Alone At Night: Good
Jauja: Bad
The Assassin: Poor
Ex Machina: Great

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