Wednesday, June 1, 2016

The Second Coming - Volume 1

"Wolstencroft's Odyssey" is the first description I would reach for to describe his THE SECOND COMING –– VOLUME 1, a feature-length rumination, fueled by the essence of W.B. Yeats, on power, the occult, mysticism, politics, religion, and the inevitability of self-destruction.

This loosely directed, but smartly curated work, fell on my eyes initially like a welcome acid rain with its rainbow-like mixture of images and characters. Although mostly non-actors fill its roster, these are rarely ordinary folk –– on the contrary, they are predominantly anti-Establishment figures, alternative press writers, infamous record producers, documentary figures, and formidable, card-carrying troublemakers who naturally tend to toward being potent metaphors of their own intellectual positions.

Richard Wolstencroft, as is his fetish, has assembled these rogues from the four corners of the globe and forced a narrative for them that provides a skeleton on which to hang broad contemplations and sharp slips of the tongue.

Although his previous films such as PEARLS BEFORE SWINE and THE BEAUTIFUL AND THE DAMNED took detours into the type of material presented here, these digressions were sometimes heavy-handed because they felt divorced from the imposed narrative. There's no problem with that here because the narrative, while novel, is deliberate nonsense that has us hungering for the detours. Ultimately, the film is permanent detours, and that is its strength.

Ex-porn actor Michael Tierney, who was the subject of a prior documentary by Wolstencroft, is this film's unofficial narrator as he wanders, quite literally, through landscapes that both starve and feed his troubled psyche. Along the way he engages with author Gene Gregoritis, and points us towards bouts of insanity with record producer Kim Fowley (now deceased), an encounter with the passionate literary poison of the indefatigable Boyd Rice, fragments of the luminous Kristen Condon, whose role is considerably larger in the sequel, and a shadowy liaison with Pete Doherty and his cohorts.

The film sticks to ya. Technically it's what you would expect from a one-take doco because it is one-take (it's recording the heart and the head), but the pleasure of this film, Wolstencroft's best, and the first to truly reflect his own truth, is the smeared, crazy, drunk, stoned, uninhibited journey. Surely that is a type of cinema to be encouraged.

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