Search This Blog

Monday, April 11, 2016

'Theory of Obscurity' BD: SXSW Entry on The John Waters of the Rock World "The Residents"

Product Details
Spectacular purveyor of art-house international movies Film Movement pulls off the tough trick of topping itself regarding the April 19, 2016 release of the Blu-ray version of the 2015 documentary "Theory of Obscurity: A Film About the Residents." "Obscurity takes the documentary goal of entertaining and educating in equal degrees regarding sharing the alleged story of the highly secretive music group "The Residents." The disclaimer near the beginning of the film that the provided information cannot be verified states it all.

The name of the film awesomely explains the titular philosophy of The Residents. The simple concept is that the performance, rather than the performers, should be the focus of public attention. This is similar to the credo of truly professional journalists who feel that the reporter should never be the story. The funny thing is that the film that extols that virtue is contrary to it.

"Obscurity" premiering at the 2015 SXSW Film Festival provides an additional sense of the film and reminds us of the original intent of such festivals before commerce began overtaking art.

The following YouTube clip of the SXSW promo. for "Obscurity" clearly shows the surreal and bizarre nature of this group.


Writer/director Don Hardy, Jr. comprehensively documents the history of this group that is always masked and costumed when appearing in public and that aptly is managed by The Cryptic Corporation. This history of these unique individuals goes back to their beginnings in Shreveport, Louisiana during the height of psychedelic late '60s before they even were The Residents. The story behind that name is as amusing and odd as the quirky young men who adopt it.

Much of the copious humor in the film comes from insiders, fans, and well-known rockers discussing certainty that the latter and some of their idolized peers literally are the men behind the masks. The veracity of this remains as hidden as the true quality of the 1972 Jerry Lewis attempt at a serious Holocaust film "The Day the Clown Cried," (Hopefully, Movement will be the company that ultimately brings the latter into the light of day.)

Hardy additionally interviews several current and past Corporation executives, who share fascinating tales from the cryptic. A personal theory is that at least two of these literal front men are members of the group that they manage. The audience additionally meets singers (including one who truly performs under a secret identity) who perform with the red eye group.

"Obscurity" is equally generous regarding vintage and modern concert footage, clips of bizarre and grotesque videos and other film projects, and "behind-the-music" treatment of all of it. A Residents reference in the comparable creative and odd '90s television series "Mystery Science Theater 3000" illustrates the comprehensive nature of "Obscurity."

Film Movement honors the theory of generosity regarding the plethora of special features in the Blu-Ray release. These include the first live performance of The Residents, a whopping 11 extended interviews, and several short films by your new favorite renegade rockers.

Anyone with obscure questions or comments is strongly encouraged to email me. You can also connect on Twitter via @tvdvdguy.