Saturday, October 12, 2013

Dallas VideoFest 26 Review: DUSTY STACKS OF MOM: THE POSTER PROJECT - Javi's Take

Directed by Jodie Mack
Synopsis: An experimental film that tells the story of the rise and fall of a poster business.

Personal films have a tendency of coming in some very interesting packages. DUSTY STACKS OF MOM: THE POSTER PROJECT is not some overly epic and highly metaphorical story, but it’s just a simple story of director Jodie Mack dealing with her mother’s poster failing business thanks to the Internet. What sets this movie apart is the highly engrossing stop-motion work that Mack does, while a bizarre and unique representation of Pink Floyd’s THE DARK SIDE OF THE MOON plays.

DUSTY STACKS itself is a short movie only clocking in at 60 minutes, but it makes up for the short running time with density. Jodie Mack is able to edit an manipulate images that feels almost otherworldly. The way that images and music interact is so perfectly synced that it can actually make you feel like you're having a strange out-of-body experience. Despite the seemingly sad themes that the movie is exploring, it's still very funny. Jodie's Mom shows up various times during the movie to "play" instruments and lend her face to the animation, and those scenes ended up being the funniest.

Thematically it is very interesting to see a person deal with the particular situation of seeing a parent work their entire life only to lose their livelihood to forces beyond the control. With the Internet changing the way all aspects of commerce are done, Mack is exploring some real fears for many people who are currently working who own physical shops.

If there was going to be a big complaint of the movie is the way that the director relies on some very obvious lyrics to depict what is going on and what she is trying to convey. As a viewer, it feels a little strange to be watching what is supposed to be a more experimental and fringe project all the while being told in literal lyrics what is going.

DUSTY STACKS OF MOM is a very strong visual experience. The time and the care and the sheer craftsmanship of this movie is something that needs to be seen despite its very literal approach to story telling. The way that Mack manipulates images to go along with the music in-sync is astounding, and it would be a treat to see a full length animated movie by her. 

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