Jim Larson

Revolutions Per Minute

Why Watch? A fascinating (if one-sided) look at a business that’s still making something that has technically been obsolete for four decades, this doc from Jim Larson gives a mouthpiece to record-makers in New York City. Some have succumbed to the present while others fight for a future, and every talking head is fascinating in a different way (although Johan Kugelberg from Boo-Hooray Gallery is by far the most entertaining). Plus, Larson approaches the story with the same plugged-in amplification of his Swans documentary The Seer. There’s a fair amount of introspection and some competitive finger-pointing, but the real villain of the story comes in a small cup with sprinkles on top.  

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The Best Short Films

Why Watch? Swans was formed in 1982, emerging from the New York No Wave scene with explosive shows where the band played at notoriously loud volumes. Word spread that audience members had vomited from the sonic assaults, and their reputation swelled. They disbanded in 1997 but then reformed without keyboardist/songwriter Jarboe 2 years ago. Now filmmaker Jim Larson has profiled the band with this engaging documentary — discovering secret passageways to the stage and into the lives of the band’s members. Fans of the group will relish every second of this high-level production and those who don’t know Swans will find a lot to love in this glossy (yet jagged-edged) tour of bizarre intensity and creative wanderlust. Plus, at 27 minutes, it’s about as long as the average Swans song. What will it cost you? Only 27 minutes. Skip work. Watch more short films.

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