Experimental filmmaker Marie Losier makes engaging cinematic portraits of figures in avant-garde circles, among them George Kuchar (Electrocute Your Stars, TFF '05) and Guy Maddin (Manuelle Labor, TFF '07), and choreographs performance pieces starring outrageous, costumed characters. In her first feature-length film, she combines these two strands of her filmmaking practice.
Seven years in the making, Ballad is a mesmerizing and deeply romantic love story between pioneering musician and performance artist Genesis Breyer P-Orridge and soul mate Lady Jaye. Breaking new ground in its depiction of gender transformation and identity, the film chronicles the physical and spiritual merging of two beings into one. Eschewing the classic talking heads documentary format, Losier's film employs Genesis as the narrator of her own life story. Losier animates this soothing narration with experimental techniques, including the breathless pace of her 16mm moving camera, accelerated and slow motion, rapid montage, over- and underexposed images, camera flares, archival material, and reenactments that enliven this heartfelt tale of love and loss. Losier's film also captures unique behind-the-scenes preparations and live performances of their bands that pioneered industrial music, Throbbing Gristle and Psychic TV, closing in perfect form with the evocative and poignant love ballad "The Orchids."