“How fortunate are those who can frame the beauty of the strange.”–opening title of Strange Frame
DIRECTED BY: G.B. Hajim
FEATURING: Claudia Black, Tara Strong, Ron Glass, Tim Curry
PLOT: In the 28th century, saxophonist Parker falls in love with songwriter and escaped debt slave Naia on Jupiter’s moon Ganymede. The two women form a band, which catches the eye of a music producer. When the producer kicks the sax player out of the band to set Naia up as a solo act, hooks the singer on drugs and isolates her from the outside world, Parker teams up with two interplanetary trash haulers to penetrate the corporate defenses that separate the women.
- This is the first feature film from Hawaii-based director G.B. Hajim and the first script and soundtrack from co-writer/co-composer Shelley Doty.
- Hajim and Doty began discussing the project in 1999, and began writing the script in 2002. They envisioned Love & Sax as the first in a series of four films.
- More than forty Hawaiian high school students worked as interns on the film over its seven years of production.
- The black and white live action footage edited into the film comes from the all-black feature The Duke Is Tops (1938), starring Lena Horne as a singer who is manipulated into leaving her lover behind with promises of becoming a star in New York City.
- “Star Trek” alumnus George Takei has a vocal cameo.
INDELIBLE IMAGE: Strange Frame is at its visual best when it’s a free-flowing montage: cut-out mutant space lesbians in the foreground, swirling psychedelic backgrounds drifting in and out of focus in the background. It is therefore a difficult task to isolate a single strange frame from this movie; every image is in a constant state of flux. One of the best sequences occurs when Satanically suave agent Dorlan Mig plies the women with powders and rare liquors in an upscale Ganymede nightclub populated by horned celebrity dominatrices and their monocle-wearing cat-person managers. Immediately before the lovers are launched into a trip that’s visually unhinged even by this movie’s extreme standards, we see them reflected in his mirrored shades, one girl improbably and perfectly framed in each lens, before their visages dissolve and morph into pink lips and tongues. That’s about as standout a standalone image as you’ll be able to find in this Heraclitan river of psychedelic cinema.
WHAT MAKES IT WEIRD: This story of two renegade lesbian rock stars gigging among the moons of Jupiter is a bit odd, but really not all that weird in and of itself. It’s the visuals that (as the movie’s legend promises) “frame the beauty of the strange.” Imagine dropping a hefty dose of LSD on the set of Blade Runner, and you walk through a door and suddenly you’re in the Star Wars cantina. Now, imagine that experience animated by the team behind Fantastic Planet working under the direction of Ralph Bakshi, take that result and square the weirdness quotient, and you have some inkling of Strange Frame‘s visuals.
Original trailer for Strange Frame
COMMENTS: Strange Frame is an animated psychedelic lesbian science fiction musical. Just to be clear, I would have been happy with any three Continue reading 156. STRANGE FRAME: LOVE & SAX (2012)