Saturday, 24 September 2011

Handsome Window Smashing

The Handsome Family

A few months ago I went to see The Handsome Family whose music I fell in love with before I even heard it. How does this happen? Well with song titles like 'The Loneliness Of Magnets' how could I resist?

The first song I heard was 'Bottomless Hole' amazing & so surreal, random & imaginative they really conjure wonderful imagery in their work - worthy of inspiring any artist to create a visual representation of their lyrics.

One of the songs that they sang was about my favourite character in 'Wisconsin Death Trip'. If you are interested in art, documentary & photography you MUST see this film. The person they wrote as song about is a real person called Mary Sweeney.

Here I got a bit carried away with my large wine glass as a vessel to view them through. I think the wine was going to my head at this point or maybe I was just drunk on the music flowing into the room. Why can't all gigs be this good? 


However I did come to my senses...

Then the song took me to Mary...

Here is the actress who plays Mary Sweeney in the film. Her story is a fascinating one. Like all of the characters taken from the pages of Lesy's book of the same name following the lives of people in a small town in Wisconsin called Black Rivers Falls in the late 19th century. Mary Sweeney was a teacher who had bouts of mania (probably due to manic depression) which resulted in her smashing in as many windows as she could before she was inevitably arrested. I think there is something of a Mary Sweeney in all of us.  

Lesy's imagery is a delightful marriage of film & still photography. I thoroughly implore you to buy both the book & the film.

Here are two different editions, the latter is the most available.

I won't write any more as I don't want this to be a spoiler for anyone who is new to the work. Just trust me on this one, it is not a cult classic for nothing.

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