Thursday, March 22, 2012

Movie: The Ballad of Genesis and Lady Jaye

This is a documentary/swooning love letter to hideous transsexual, Genesis P-Orridge, who is best known as the founder of Throbbing Gristle (TG), the notorious industrial music pioneers.  The titular Lady Jaye is P-Orridge's supposed soul mate--a good looking chick, about 20 years his junior.  In articles and interviews about the movie, a lot of noise is made about theirs being some kind of magnificent love affair, but you won't get any sense of that upon seeing it.

What you get is a whole lot of Genesis P-Orridge (GP-O hereafter) mugging, posing, preening for the camera.  Pursing his lips for the camera.  Baring his gross fake boobs for the camera...  The uninitiated viewer will get a brief overview of GP-O's career in transgressive art, but mostly the film shows us an aging narcissist, though I doubt that is the filmmaker's intention.  No matter how much lip-service is paid to Lady Jaye's supposed brilliance and importance, the film gives me the sense she was more fodder for GP-O's narcissism--like a fashion accessory--or, worse, art material.  Check this out:

They decided to get a series of plastic surgeries to look more like one another as an "art project" to announce the arrival of a new hermaphroditic gender or some shit like that.  Here's this gnarly old weirdo who has become a legend of sorts for doing wild and nasty stuff, then you have this perfectly good looking young woman in his orbit.  Whose idea do you think it was to start doing the face-cutting?  Surely not the guy who used to chew on used tampons!  Can you say, "Svengali?"

I know it sounds like I have an ax to grind here, but I just want the material to be honest with us--the movie is not about the chick.  GP-O is a larger than life subject, who carries the documentary easily enough.  Don't tell us we're watching a love story.

1 comment:

  1. I concur. Very much a pygmalion story. A friend of mine asked if he came off as straight, bi-, gay. I said really none of those. For all the talk of gender reassignment there wasn't much talk of gender - and gender roles. It seemed pretty straight to me.