|BUILDING A BROKEN MOUSETRAP (director: Jem Cohen; cinematographers: Peter Sillen/Jem Cohen/MattBoyd; editors: Jem Cohen/MattBoyd; music: Ex; Runtime: 62; MPAA Rating: NR; Gravity Hill Film; 2006)|
oddball documentary that hit all
the right chords."
by Dennis Schwartz
Cohen ("Benjamin Smoke"/"Museum Hours")
directs this engaging low-budget rock concert film of
the Ex, an
anarchist musical ensemble from the Netherlands who
began in the 1970s as a punk rock band. The
documentary was shot in both 16mm film and DV. The
band played in NYC on September 2004, just after the
Republican Convention in the city and on the third
anniversary of 9/11. The gifted band played at the
Knitting Factory, whose music was captured on camera.
The first part is filmed in black-and-white and the
second part in color, starting with the war on
“Confusion Errorist.” There are many political songs, including one
about Henry Kissinger. There's also a consumer
conscience one about an Installment Plan Man, a gritty
feminist one called Sister and an inventive noisy avant-garde one called
"The Iduuno Law." The pic also filmed
location shots of the bustling city, with sights such
as the Empire State Building and the construction
sites in both the Big Apple and Amsterdam.
The band consists of
Sok; Ketherina Ex is a drummer; the guitar players
are Terrie Ex, Andy Moore and Rozemarie.
It's an oddball documentary that hit all the right chords for the innovative and energetic non-commercial band, who still have the bite to be edgy and snarling without getting up on a soapbox.
REVIEWED ON 8/8/2013 GRADE: A-
Dennis Schwartz: "Ozus' World Movie Reviews"
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