Director Jem Cohen / 2004 / USA

"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).

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