Jul 11, 2012

Dandy Dust

As far as quality films/filmmakers go, very few works by lesbian and transgendered 'ladies' are at the top of my list of important flicks as it seems oftentimes such emotionally and politically-driven works are merely a temporary outlet for the bush-league agitator to 'sass and harass the cis', but not much else, at least where artistic merit is concerned. After all, one would have to be a master of pussy-licking puffery to argue that critically-revered American lesbian films like Rose Troche’s Go Fish (1994) and Cheryl Dunye’s The Watermelon Woman (1996) have any sort of aesthetic or artistic assets aside from lipstick lezy g Guinevere Turner’s ass. It was not until about a month ago after being introduced to the unyielding low-budget trans-lesbo sci-fi epic entitled Dandy Dust (1998), a British-Austrian co-production directed by sexually anomalous Aryan auteur A. Hans Scheirl (now known as ‘Angel Hans’) that I reconsidered my mostly generous assessment of contemporary dyke directors. Whatever Scheirl’s true objective with the film was, Dandy Dust feels like the Germanic lipstick mafia equivalent of Shinya Tsukamoto’s classic homoerotic Japanese cyberpunk flick Tetsuo: The Iron Man (1989), except featuring an aberrant kaleidoscope of colors and an even more incoherent and antagonizing plot. Starring director Scheirl in the title role as ‘Dandy Dust’ (and he/she  certainly has the dandy wardrobe and demeanor to live up to the name), Dandy Dust is a decidedly deranged cinematic nachtmahr where sexual perversity – and especially degenerative hermaphroditism – is a norm of the future inter-sexual inter-galaxy. Filmed over a 5 ½ year period using a variety of film formats and techniques, including (but not limited to) Super 8 film stock, black-and-white film stock, early video, stop-motion animation, and digital animation; and eventually blown-up on 16mm for the finished cut, Dandy Dust is a carnal collage of meticulously constructed images that potently permeate a certain loopy and many times schizophrenic idiosyncrasy that – for better or for worse – few, if any, other films can claim.

Dandy Dust follows the cosmic cunt-licking journey of Dandy Dust, a "split-personality cyborg of fluid gender" whose memory has been erased, but to its dismay, is randomly reappearing in his/her arenose mind. After crash-landing on the hermaphroditic and inorganic manmade sphere of 3075, Dust who – through a series of real and/or imaginary childhood flashbacks during her upbringing on the Planet of Blood and Swelling (a menstruating matriarchal planet, perhaps?) – comes to realize that he/she was sexually used and abused by her incestuous father who was, in turn, murdered by the guy/gal’s Xanthippe mother during a jealous and prepossessed crime of passion. The orgasmic sphere of 3075 features a variety of gaudy and gay characters that include, lesbo-Negro identical twins Mao and Lisa; scientist sistas with an aptness for reanimating phallic-like mummies, surly and sadistic Super-Mother Cyniborg; a ghoulish and (unfortunately) unclothed being obsessed with constructing a heretical hermaphrodite army that includes Dust, and father Sir Sidore; a sexually-repressed yet remarkably decadent 18th century aristocrat with a prudish and pompous persona. Of course, Dandy Dust is such an overwhelming overload of audacious aesthetic debauchery that it is nearly impossible to make any sense of the film’s plot, at least upon an initial viewing of the film. Admittedly, it took me a couple tries to actually finish the film due to its tumultuously condensed and compacted cluster of unflattering intersexual nudes, frightful lesbian fetishism, and overall deluge of eclectic seizure-inducing neon polychromasia.

Like the more inaugural films of the silent era (especially, German expressionist works) and the equally masturbatory works of contemporary Canadian auteur Guy Maddin, Dandy Dust is primarily a visual experience that reminds the viewer why that film is a virtually unlimited artistic medium that has been barely explored, at least as far as narrative structure (or lack thereof) and the mise-en-scène is concerned. Although a low-budget effort shot in a quasi-dilettantish and embarrassingly intimate manner not unlike James Bidgood’s Pink Narcissus (1971), David Lynch’s Eraserhead (1977), and E. Elias Merhige’s Begotten (1990), Dandy Dust, like the previously mentioned films, is a flick that venturesomely pushed the envelope of filmmaking, thus making its paraded status is a work of ‘Queer cinema’ of only secondary and circumstantial importance.  As a result, the film will be ultimately more appealing and rewarding to ardent cinephiles than the confused teenage tomgirl who just got her first taste of her friend's meat-curtain.  Like any meritorious work of art, Dandy Dust is a candid and uncompromising – if non compos mentis – expression of the filmmaker; a dignified quality that few modern celluloid works strive for, let alone possess.

-Ty E


teddy crescendo said...

The geezer who shot those people at the late night screening of "The Dark Knight Rises" must`ve been really angry about the fact that there was so much British scum involved in the making of the film.

steve prefontaine said...

I wonder if a knock-on effect of the shooting might be that it will finally somehow bring that hideous abomination known as Hollywood crashing down into the dog-shit where it belongs ! ?.