Jandek on Corwood

Director: Chad Freidrichs
Year Released: 2003
Rating: 2.5

For the past twenty five plus years, there's been an outsider artist from Texas putting out record after record of his own 'technically' off-key music, has refused to give interviews (except for one vague one in the mid 80's) and generally acted like a complete enigma. Director Freidrichs deserves strong consideration for even attempting to make a documentary about someone this obscure and eclectic - I'd guess that you'd find more about both Thomas Pynchon and J.D. Salinger (no one's entirely confident what Jandek's full name is) - so when this film's interviews with fans and critics (together with filler footage of beaches and rocks) leaves you only slightly more aware of what the artist is all about, benefit of the doubt is in order (same applies to the doc How to Draw a Bunny about another cryptic outside artist). That said - and considered - the washed out videography is absolutely hideous, as if the film crew used a special cataract lens for the camera (if the intent was to mimic the blurry cover images of Jandek's albums, that wasn't a wise decision). Jandek, according to various sources, has been performing live more and more often - I have some .mp3s of his show in Sweden - but aside from a few modern-day photos and speculative concert reviews and fan speculation, he's still as out-there as ever.