Animal Collective‘s highly anticipated ODDSAC debuted Thursday Night at the Sundance Film Festival in Park City, Utah. CoS contributor Winston Robbins was in attendance and is here to give us the lowdown…
Hoards of hipsters were lined up in anticipation for the film, and rest assured, no one went home unhappy (except maybe the few older couples who had ambled into the theater mistakenly). The night kicked off with a brief intro by director and close friend of the band’s, Danny Perez, who thanked all in attendance for being there and told the audience to look forward to a treat of a film from 2009’s most celebrated band.
True to his word, Perez delivered treat after treat in his maniacally beautiful film. ODDSAC featured somewhere around six previously unreleased AC songs (depending on your definition of music) that accompanied it as it ran its course. It was highly experimental and used very few of the basic film techniques. In fact, in true Collective fashion, there was only one line of decipherable dialogue in the entire 50 minutes. There were also very few characters in the film, and it jumped from scene to scene sporadically.
To the average eye, it was an inconclusive jumbled mess, lacking in plot and in direction, but to anyone familiar with the Animal Collective back catalogue, it was visionary. Jumbled and sporadic is the way they do things, and they do it with perfection. Any film featuring a sad vampire rowing a canoe, a family out camping that gets eaten by the marshmallows they are roasting, and over five minutes of a sort of TV static-music visualizer combonation is probably not going to get rave reviews, but it’s a true fan’s wet dream. And although it was a victory, it was tough to get a feel for what message they were trying to convey. Regardless, it was a ride to remember. The sights and sounds experienced were beyond brilliant. It seems this band can do no wrong.
There was an extremely short Q&A following the screening with Perez, Avey Tare, Geologist, and Deacon. All they said about the missing Panda Bear was that they were “sorry he couldn’t be in attendance,” which could potentially mean “recording a new album for you guys.” Overall, the film was a sweeping success, especially considering what Panda Bear said in an interview with NPR. “We want to create a movie that would have visuals similar to what somebody would see if they closed their eyes while listening to Animal Collective’s music.” In that regard, ODDSAC was a total triumph. This unorthodox film is absolutely worth your while.
ODDSAC has three more screenings at Sundance on the 28th, 29th and 30th, and two screenings with Q&A sessions in New York City and Chicago on March 2nd and March 17, respectively. We obviously recommend you check it out.