Saturday, November 22, 2014

Wondering how Sex and Broadcasting: A Film About WFMU (2014) will play in Peoria DOC NYC 2014

A radio station should not be a hole in the universe for making money, or feeding an ego or running the world. A radio station should be a live place for live people to sing and dance and talk...and know they they (and the rest of us) are not finally and irrevocably dead- Lorenzo Milam Sex and Broadcasting

This is the story of New Jersey based radio station WFMU, a completely independent and totally unique radio station where anything can happen at any moment. Its a station that has a huge cult following that also includes a huge array of celebrities. The film focuses on station manager Ken Friedman as he tries to get enough money to keep the station going

At times this film is a joyous collection of wonderful moments arranged as scattershotly as WFMU's programming. Things happen all over the place as we watch artists perform, fans, such as Matt Groening and Patton Oswald  wax poetic, and the station tries to get enough money just to stay on the air.

And the scattershot nature of the film is what diminishes the greatness of the parts into a just okay whole. The problem is that it doesn't take shape and have a through line-or at lose its WTF is going on until the last half hour where we get the history of the station and of manager Ken Friedman. Once we're finally told whats going on the film clicks to life and it all starts to make sense...until the momentum is lost in yet another marathon to get money.

I wanted to scream. Worse I was tempted to shut the film off...and I would have had the bits not been so strong. The bits, the musical performances and the great people made dealing with the piss poor organization worth it for me.

The one question I was left with when I finished the film was what will people who don't know WFMU think of the film? I know of it because a number of the writers here at Unseen wax poetic about the station. On the other hand what is this going to mean to those who don't know the station, who say don't know what the Best Show was? I don't know.

Then again I get the sense that the film wasn't made for them or for people like me with only a passing knowledge of the station.

Do I think you should see the film? If you're an WFMU fan, absolutely. If you're not a fan or have no knowledge of the station I say you can give it a try, if only for the wonderful moments.

Of note -watching the screener with headphones on- I noticed there are a lot of police sirens in the background I doubt you'll hear them in the theater, but they are there if you listen

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