Images Blog 1 Andrew James Paterson 3/4/08


Well... .Images Festival Number 21 and Counting just opened tonight, and I must say I have to hand it to the Images gang for their gutsy galas. I can't remember when if ever they've opened with a calling-card - recently they've been on a roll with some dynamite bad girl directors and performers. This year's model was G.B. Jones. Last year we had Marina Abramovic and the year before we had Colin Campbell, so there you go. And G.B. Jones and Marina Abramovic may well be like apples and oranges but they're both muscle queens and tall upstanding divas.

G.B.'s fifteen-years-in-the-making Super-8 feature is called The Lollipop Generation, and lollipops are indeed sucked upon by a very un-motley crew of queer undergrounders or outlaws and even a few unclassifiables. Lollipops are definitely the tone-setters for this all-over-the-map feature - they are sweet and sugary and very bad for your teeth. Lollipops are not sour - G.B.'s coterie of pervs are post-sour - like The Hidden Cameras are post-Morrissey and therefore post-bitter. These runaways defend their territory and spray like all genders of feline, but snarling is kept to a relative minimum. Only the gloriously outrageous Vaginal Crème Davis gets to crack her whip, and she certainly chews up the screen while doing her cracking and slapping.

The Lollipop Generation is a road-movie and a documentary, with its sharp deployment of iconic and hidden locations in several metropolises. The Lollipop Generation is notable for its excessive use of neon signage - excessive to the brink of abstraction and definitely appealing to my inner Dan Flavin. Its classic black and white Super-8 graininess is of a stock blending performance with documentary, while throwing darts at the pair of them. The voice-overs 'compensating" for the absence of synch-sound are hilarious, particularly if you're visualizing the voice person with his or her onscreen counterpart. Here, The Lollipop Generation is almost Brechtian. But... never didactic. These candy suckers are too young and beautiful for any of that.