Friday, June 7, 2024

S/HE IS STILL HER/E - The Official Genesis P-Orridge Documentary (2024) Tribeca 2024

While S/HE IS STILL HER/E - The Official Genesis P-Orridge Documentary is one of my favorite films of 2024 I don't know if this portrait  artist, philosopher, writer, musician, and generally cool person Genesis P-Orridge is going to connect with most people. It's not that there is anything wrong with the film, rather the film's subject was a one of a kind human. A constantly questing human being who was forever in search of knowledge and experience Genesis was in constant motion and impossible to pin down. The film is much like its subject full of ideas, wisdom and art. It's a film that is the cinematic equivalent of its subject and the closest thing any of us will ever get to spending an evening P-Orridge.

I became aware of Genesis P-Orridge  decades ago when I ran across the music of Throbbing Gristle and Psychic TV was put on my radar by some of my friends. "Listen to this" I was told, and I did. And I didn't know what to make of it. Then in the 1990's, thanks to my time drifting through fringe thought I started to run into the philosophical side of Genesis and my mind was opened a bit more. I may not have accepted everything I would hear or read but the ideas opened up doors and sent me on trips to find out more. I also loved that while so many other people were staying in one place Genesis was always questing and always changing as the result of each new discovery.

The film is life and times of Genesis P-Orridge in their own words.From their birth as Neil Andrew Megson on though the various reinventions the film is truly the arc of a life. We see and hear it all and we are left to make sense of it.

I loved it.

I loved that the film lets Genesis talk. There is no real attempt to really to get a view from outside. I've read and seen enough by and about Genesis to know that it is impossible to get a handle on them by listening to anyone other than Genesis P-Orridge. What anyone else has to say is not what Genesis was, rather it would be only what someone else's perceptions are. TO listen to anyone else is limiting. By doing away with anyone else we have a better chance to get to know the person at the heart of the film.

Sitting  down to rewrite this piece some four weeks after I saw the film, I know I'm still trying to make sense of it all. I 'm still staggering through doors the film opened. Unlike most other films this film has haunted me and made me not just engage with it but go to war with it as I replay sections in my head and try to figure out what I saw and what missed and when can I see it again.

I love this film. I love that it challenged me. I love that it showed me a really cool person who kept going and kept trying to figure it all out. I love that, like its subject this film is atypical, challenging and forcing me to engage and think differently.

That's something that is going to scare a lot of people. It's something that many people are not going to want to do. They want safe and S/HE IS STILL HER/E is not safe in the best sort of a way.

If you want a film that will make you do more than sit there and let it wash over you then see this film. If you want safe - go to the multiplex and watch something else.

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