Director: Jem Cohen
"Modern civilisation is shown as a bleakly homogenous super landscape in the ambitious [Chain], which links narrative fiction filmmaking to the avant-garde with vision and authority... the cumulative effect is profoundly unsettling but is tempered by (director) Cohen's effortlessly eye-catching compositions." - Variety
This Berlin Film Festival selection echoes the urban essay films of Chris Petit, and is dedicated to kindred soul Chris Marker. With highly original rock docs like [Instrument] (Fugazi), [Lucky Three] (Elliot Smith), [Benjamin Smoke] and [Road Movie] (REM) behind him, Jem Cohen's (MIFF 00 guest) fascinating new work is a hypnotic diary of two women's experience navigating the cookie-cutter offices, malls, motels and waiting rooms of modern society. The film incorporates Cohen's gorgeous footage of architecture, street scenes and faces into his chilling thesis on the loss of contact and communication. [Chain] has a wonderful score by Godspeed You! Black Emperor, and is produced by one half of Fugazi, Ian MacKaye and Guy Picciotto.
"At its best [Chain] has the oneiric power of fierce political intelligence of a Chris Marker cine-essay." - Village Voice
D/S Jem Cohen P Mary Jane Skalaski, Jem Cohen WS Gravity Hill TD video/col/2004/99mins
Jem Cohen was born in Afghanistan in 1962. His previous films include [Lost Book Found] (1996), [Amber City] (1999), [Benjamin Smoke] (2000).
[Satellite] is a lingering and uncanny evocation of its environment, Melbourne. Directed by Ben Speth, shot using a digital camera and a small crew, it tracks the orbits of three characters - an agei… More »
A domestic portrait of Patti Smith and her son, Jackson. Invoking urban New York and rural America, it's about picking up guitars and doing dirty dishes. ... More »
A "history" of New York City from Prehistoric Times through the Space Age, illustrated entirely with documentary street footage. ... The filmmaker made a wide-ranging study of radically different wor… More »
In which Cohen bears witness to the dark intensity of the American band Butthole Surfers filmed at a particularly exuberant show. Brooding and unsettling - an anti-music video??? ... More »
Essentially a compilation work made up of numerous short pieces, described by Cohen as: Where Documentary Collides. Music Video As Independent Film. Birds As Punctuation ... The project compiles shor… More »