PARALLEL PLANES – A DOCUMENTARY ESSAY ABOUT INDEPENDENCE AND MUSIC
“Parallel Planes” is a documentary film portraying 12 American musicians. It is a journey between genres, an essay on free thinking and an intimate look at how 12 critical players relate to the potential of music.
This film is a proof that music reminds us how and why we criticise politics and society and that our different ideas are bonded to each other.
with: Michael Gira (Swans, Young God Records), Mick Barr (Orthrelm, Ocrilim, Octis), Justin Pearson (The Locust, Swing Kids, All Leather), Ian MacKaye (Minor Threat, Fugazi), Valentine Falcon (Get Hustle), Jamie Stewart (Xiu Xiu), Anna Barie (These Are Powers), Weasel Walter (Flying Luttenbachers), Jenny Hoyston (Erase Errata), Alap Momin (Dälek), Greg Saunier (Deerhoof), Otto von Schirach
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The German word for a catchy tune is Ohrwurm. When translated directly into English it means ear worm. What this German term has over it’s English equivalent is that it gets far more quickly far more directly to the point: music can crawl into holes in your head, touch your thinking and change who you are forever.
Nicole Wegner’s “Parallel Planes” doesn’t take us on a tour of music, she lets us go “on tour” with her in and around music. Her filmmaking troupe becomes our band as we touch down and into various sites and cities in the United States, meeting musicians along the way.
As with any tour, this film could be a road movie, a travelogue, even a diary. While it remains all of these things, what it is most strongly is a carefully-crafted mixed-tape. After all, a glimpse into the undercurrents of the last 5 decades of US music is not meant to be exhaustive, it’s meant to be mixed.
Wegner is giving us this particular selection for the same reason that many artists in the film form their own labels, to “document” what they’ve uncovered going on around them because they feel strongly about it. A mixed-tape is a way of simultaneously holding onto and sharing a subset of music, like writing something strange and exciting in a strictly sonic language and passing it on in the world trusting that others will hear it too. This film is a proof that music does that, reminds us how and why, and thanks sincerely a handful of its unrelenting players.