Date: Thursday November 14, 2019
Doors: 7:00pm Screening: 7:30pm
following the screening Q & A with Marco Porsia
Norman Westberg live set & Extra Outtakes Footages
Recombinant Festival opens with the West Coast premiere of the Swans documentary film “Where Does A Body End?”
The first point of departure for this year’s Recombinant Festival is the West Coast premiere of the documentary film “Where Does A Body End?” embarking on a journey through the experimental history of the pioneering band Swans.
Following the screening of this film by Marco Porsia, never-before-seen live concert film clips provide further insight painting an intimate portrait of the artists’ infamously confrontational performances and audio experimentations from 1983 – 2017. The opening night will feature a live solo performance by noted musician Norman Westberg, the guitarist of Swans through the majority of the band’s thirty year existence.
“Where Does A Body End?” is an intimate portrait of the band Swans, from their roots as a brutal, confrontational post-punk band that emerged from the early 1980s of no-wave era New York City through their ill-fated bid at mainstream success in the 90s indie-rock goldrush, through breakups and chaos (on and offstage) to their odds-defying current status as one of the most accomplished and ambitious bands in the world, one whose concerts are more like ecstatic rituals than nostalgic trips back through their most popular songs.
Swans has always been a collection of singular performers, but there’s been one constant since it’s formation in 1982 – singer, songwriter Michael Gira. His biography (teenage runaway, art school provocateur, alcoholic, family man) and influences (Jimmy Swaggart casts a shadow as large as the Germs) are inseparable from the story of the band and the music they make. With unfettered access to hundreds of hours of Gira/Swans archives of never-seen before recordings, videos and photographs, the film brings us along the path they needed to carve for themselves.
The film is many things, a musical history, a time-capsule, a tour diary, a concert film, but mostly it’s the story of a life in the arts, frequently difficult, spanning decades without a safety net, creating the work because, Gira says “What else am I going to do?”