Wax, or The Discovery of Television Among the Bees

Wax, or The Discovery of Television Among the Bees

Very difficult to describe this movie. It is a 3 minute visual art piece lengthened to fit the format (director has said so himself) and it shows in the best way. Hearing that, your first instinct is to think this would be overlong, overwrought, and deleterious to the psyche, like most avant-garde art that is extended beyond its ethos. Like pulling a meticulously crafted square of wool over a sword, hoping it’ll act as a tea cozy to keep the cold steel warm.

That labored simile ^ indulge me: Imagine the wool is forced over the blade, the way it splinters and its thread rips, that turgid, fibrous crackling and straining. If you pull too hard you’ll cut yourself. Well there is no sudden snapping or tearing of this wool, by some miracle of god, threads that rip apart from the square have instead become tendrils, possessed by ghosts, by Mesopotamian bees that lie in wait to kill you. They wrap around the sword and grow  longer than thought possible, stretching and generating matter easily, as if its natural. While you watch this unfold, you look down at your hand. You have cut yourself on the sword, and when you wipe the blood on blade, the plasmic smear extends beyond its limits too, and fuses with the possessed woolen tendrils. The blade is warm, snuggled into this improbable mass partly made by your own blood, and you are left looking at something you don’t recognize, but is.

That is the greatest feat of this movie, it sucks you into its logic, which seems impossible to fully understand but totally absorbing and somehow cogent, and it never, ever lets you off the hook. Blair’s answer to taking an idea that was meant to be three minutes and increasing it 30 fold is to indoctrinate you into his schizophrenic vision for the eye of god, so you can experience as close as possible the mind of a man.

You will be unable to escape the world it creates, and your head will be ringing when you finish it. Watch only to experience this. 0 stars.