“Alfred Eaker’s Fringe Cinema” is an irregularly published column covering truly independent cinema: the stuff that’s so far under the public radar it may as well be underground. The folks making these films may be starving artists today, but they may be recognized as geniuses tomorrow. We hope to look like geniuses ourselves by being the first to cover them.
DJ Monkey is an L.A. band, headed by Joey Alkes and Mick McMains, on the Squid Music label. The band’s first album from 2004 was “Another Evolution” which produced the web hit music video/short film “U-Boat” and garnered a plethora of excellent reviews.
With DJ Monkey’s second album, “3rd World War,” Joey Alkes turned to Dennis Schraub to create a music video/short film for the band’s song “God is an Underachiever.” Schraub and Alkes created two edits of the short film and choosing between them would be as unwelcome a task as choosing between Coltrane’s two edits of “Ascension”. The comparison is apt. “God is an Underachiever” is as difficult, moving and inspiring in it’s right as the much written about late Coltrane.
Schraub and Alkes refer to the film as being inspired by “Guernica”. The second edit of the film was the one officially released, as the first was deemed too disturbing. It is this second edit that is available on the Squid Music website and youtube.
God Is an Underachiever (second edit). WARNING: Contains strong images of man’s inhumanity to man.
“Warning: This video was specifically made to create controversy! Not controversy for controversy sake, nor for promotional shock value, but as a plea for all of us to take responsibility, as representatives of our maker, for the mess we’ve all made of this planet! GOD IS AN UNDERACHIEVER is meant to spark dialogue and not point a finger!! Pay close attention to the line in the 1st chorus that says, “but I am still a believer.”–Squid Music
With the short film, “God is an Underachiever” appropriately becomes a 21st century multi-media collage work, as the film is as vital and as potent as the song itself.
Excerpts from the lyrics and a warning accompanying the video are poignant clues to the nature of the film.
“God is an underachiever, I guess he has to be. God is an underachiever, but I’m still a believer.”
“Seems like we no longer can hear very well… the mutation of the spirit. Joan of Arc was burned at the stake… and some people thought Darwin a fool… God took him to a better place where the water had a better taste… when I die, it should be a special day….”
In his third symphony, “Kaddish” (written as an angry response to the murder of friend Continue reading FRINGE CINEMA: “GOD IS AN UNDERACHIEVER”: EVOKING GUERNICA