Archive of films Jandek on Corwood / Jandek on Corwood
2003, 89 min
Section: 2004: A Musical Odyssey
The search for a musician who has released 34 albums but has never been seen.
In 1977 a musician named Jandek released an album in Corwood, Texas. The album featured voice and guitar. The music is something like blues but generally pretty abstract. Then Jandek released a second album and a third. People started to write and talk about his music. Fans of the distinctive sound included Kurt Cobain and the members of Sonic Youth. To date, Jandek has released 34 albums. No one has still ever laid eyes on him, and yet he has been written up in the most important music magazines. Jandek has never performed publicly, never given an interview, never allowed any personal contact. A bizarre telephone call from the eighties and hand written messages are the only clues. Over time, the myth surrounding this invisible musician generated interest in his music. Are the pictures on his album covers really him? Who is the Nancy who performs with him? Sometimes it seems that Jandek’s musical career is the product of an extreme or autistic life. If the statements and speculations in this exciting and entertaining film are to be believed, we must accept the possibility that thirty years ago someone may have set in motion a fantastic artistic gesture. In the age of media and celebrities it provides an artefact of anonymity and nothingness.
About the director
Chad Freidrichs (b. 1978, Minnesota) moved around Midwestern America with his family as a kid. He met the producer of his films, Paul Fehler, quite randomly: his high school lined kids up for P.E. alphabetically. After adapting Chaucer’s stories as a student, he went on to shoot commercials for local businessmen, endeavouring to present them as intelligent individuals. His girlfriend (now wife) loaned him the money to buy a digital camera. Jandek on Corwood took 40,000 miles and $5,000 to make.
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