churn milk joan

something else of intrigue and mystery that we pulled from Mat Handley’s face book page. now we don’t ordinarily go in for film commentary here, struggle enough with the sounds, strangely there are sounds here, which we will mention. but this struck a curious chord with us, which unless I’m very much mistaken, aside having the Residents written all over it in huge eyeball formed lettering. described by the man himself as ‘……. You need to see this. Imagine The Brothers Quay, Neil Jordan, King Crimson and Renaldo & the Loaf found themselves in an Oliver Postgate convention in Hebden Bridge and were given the task of creating a 40 minute film with no budget, but free access to everything they could find in the gardens, sheds and the old abandoned toy workshop located on the outskirts of the West Yorkshire town’.  so with appetites whetted, this is Churn Milk Joan – Messrs Knutson and Robinson with the stop animation oddness that is “Der Traum eines Kindes”. in truth, a disturbing yet delightful collage that appears to fall between the filmic schools of those folk who brought those East European animations in the 70’s to scare young folk witless and those surreal German expressionist classics from the 20’s and beyond – see the Cabinet of Dr Caligari as a prime example, the connections drawn mainly from the use of shadows, shapes and filmic distortion and Un Chien Andalou / Eraserhead for its disconnected story line and disturbed / oddly unrelated sequences. then there’s the peculiarly overriding obsession with the imagery of eyes throughout – ring any bells, the mechanical and clock working creepiness throughout throwing something of a gothic disquiet. Watched in one sitting, (we advise you do), whether made purely for a hoot or a serious statement of artful intent, there’s no denying that the duo have created both a visual and aural work that sits outside the populist tent scratching and itching to reach for something that’s far beyond the immediate, disposable and pulp vacuous of mere pop trinket-dom.  the musical sound-scape underpinning the animation is, you’ll be happy to know, available as a stand alone release on a ‘name your price’ offering, and yes it works alone and cleverly at that. A kind of forgotten junkyard of chamber arrangements, battered and bruised funk freaks, jarring jazz spectres and creepy carnivals under whose playfully dark cloak elements of the Residents c ‘eskimo’    disturb with impish disharmony amid lengthening shadows of sepia soaked surrealist shadow plays, irregular and misshapen it all makes for a wonderfully weird wonderland of toy box awakening after midnight reverie, one I’m suspecting the folk at both the Bearsuit and Wobblyhead sound houses will find plenty to adore and admire. https://churnmilkjoan.bandcamp.com/album/der-traum-eines-kindes

  

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