Jandek DVD review [MVD]



Film / Video Reviews
Jandek DVD review [MVD]
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Nov 30, 2004, 17:28

JANDEK ON CORWOOD (a Documentary Film) DVD directed by Chad Friedrich; Unicorn Stencil/MVD, 2004

This document gets as close to solving the mystery of Jandek as one would expect to be allowed by the anonymous “Mr. Corwood.” The elusive, and still to this day unknown entity “Jandek” began releasing LP records in the early 80's, each with only a single snapshot on the front cover to serve as sparse clue as to who this guy was and what he was trying to express with his music. The music speaks for itself, yet people who were attracted to his drifting and intriguing self-made recordings became obsessed with trying to know the truth behind the man. But it was Jandek's brilliant marketing strategy of cheap records ($2 each through the 1980's if you ordered them direct from his Corwood Label PO Box) and his policy of no interviews or live shows, that headed everyone off at the pass extending his presence into a mythical realm rarely matched by any artist. This DVD includes plenty of musical excerpts and interviews with Jandek researchers Byron Coley, Douglas Wolk, Irwin Chusid, and Phil Milstein, among others and an extra feature containing the complete 50 minute phone call to Corwood Records in the 1980's by John Trubee which may be the only interview Jandek has ever done… that is, if Trubee actually IS speaking to Jandek!?!

If you love a mystery and have never heard any Jandek before, this is a perfect introduction and if you like what you witness here, you can still order all 35 of his records (now available only as CDs) for $4 each direct from that legendary PO Box in Houston!         

-Alan Bishop

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