Subject: I have found a DVD that I think you would enjoy
|The Ex Building a Broken Mousetrap|
Director: Jem Cohen
Genres: Music Video & Concerts
Rated Ex (for excellent)
Dan Plankton | Somerville, MA | 02/14/2008
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This is a somewhat curious release for the Ex. It documents a single 2004 concert by a short-lived lineup of the group (five-piece with Rozemarie on double bass), with all the songs coming from that lineup's only recorded release, Turn.
Of course, the Ex, always looking forward, don't generally do "promotional" releases or retrospective projects. The reason this DVD exists is because the band were contacted by a filmmaker who happened to catch them on a U.S. tour a short time before Rozemarie left the band.
So, this DVD is purportedly a "film" rather than a concert video. But for this viewer, the concert footage is what warrants the five-star rating. The "contextual" footage of NYC (with the 2004 Republican convention, a month before this concert, forming the main backdrop) seems a bit pointless/pretentious to me, but it's the filmmaker's prerogative, and without him this project wouldn't have happened, so no real complaint. Don't worry -- the video is 95% the Ex, on stage at the Knitting Factory in NYC. The video angles are a little unorthodox, but not distracting (if you've been in the Knitting Factory, you know it can't be easy to film there). And the stage footage is almost all black-and-white (which signals "art", I guess, but I preferred the look of the brief color footage, which looks to be from the soundcheck). The sound on this DVD is fantastic, overcoming any weakness with the visuals -- the sound engineer on this project is the real behind-the-scenes star.
In lieu of a retrospective collection of live footage (or a concert DVD of the superb current 4-piece lineup), this will do just fine. (The Ex documentary, "Beautiful Frenzy" is also recommended, though the mostly low-fi bonus footage on that DVD is less exciting than what's here.)