The Grand Bizarre
Panorama | Vanguard
Who’s ready for a Mack attack? A bona fide expert in experimental stop-motion animation who approaches her material with a playful, handmade collage aesthetic, Jodie Mack has made her name with a series of 16mm-shot experimental shorts that present themselves as studies of domestic and recycled materials. The "characters" of her feature-length debut The Grand Bizarre are jiving and juking textiles—with this knowledge, the title, naturally, is a pun on "bazaar"—and the marketplace being referred to is the global economy, as, with her jawdropping work, Mack explores the technological development of fabric production and consumption alongside symmetrical systems of visual and spoken language. Over the course of a (kind of landscape) film that’s a) structured as a pop album with songs in varied music time signatures and b) contains within it a complex critique of capitalism, Mack takes the viewer on a magical, musical, mystery trip in two meanings of the word: first, a worldwide voyage from the US to places farflung, such as India and Holland, sometimes also represented through a collage of maps; and, second, the psychedelic, as she transforms the material elements of this wide, wide, world, through cinema, into something unquestionably extraordinary, and more than a little bit danceable.