USA / GERMANY / UNITED KINGDOM / NETHERLANDS / BELGIUM / FRANCE – 2011 – 118 MIN – COLOUR - FEATURE - IN ENGLISH
A FILM BY MARIE LOSIER
Genesis P-Orridge has been one of the most innovative and influential figures in music and fine art for the last 30 years. A link between the pre-and post-punk eras, he is the flounder of the legendary groups COUM Transmissions (1969-1976), Throbbing Gristle (1975-1981), and Psychic TV (1981 to present), all of which merged performance art with rock music. Celebrated by critics and art historians as a progenitor of "industrial music", his innovations have transformed the character of rock and electronic music while his prodigious efforts to expand the boundaries of live performance have radically altered the way people experience sound in a concert setting.
But that's just the preamble to the story. Defying artistic boundaries, Genesis has re-defined his art as a challenge to the limits of biology. In 2000, Genesis began a series of sex reassignment surgeries in order to more closely resemble his love, Lady Jaye (nee Jacqueline Breyer), who remained his wife and artistic partner for nearly 15 years. It was the ultimate act of devotion, and genesis's most risky, ambitious, and subversive performance to date: he became a she in a triumphant act of artistic self-expression. Genesis called this project "Creating the Pandrogyne", an attempt to deconstruct two individual identities through the creation of an indivisible third.
Tragically, Lady Jaye died in 2007, leaving Genesis devastated, though resilient. Since then, he has ceaseless pursued his physical ideal: a perfect mirror of Lady Jay's incomparable beauty.
This is a love story, and a portrait of two lives that illustrate the transformative powers of both love and art. Marie Losier brings to us the most intimate details of Genesis's extraordinary, uncanny world. In warm and intimate images captured handheld, Losier crafts a labyrinthine mise-en-scene of interviews, home movies, and performance footage. The Ballad of Genesis and Lady Jaye documents a truly new brand of Romantic consciousness, one in defiance of the daily dehumanization of the body by the pervasive presence of advertising and pornography, conveying beauty, dignity and devotion from a perspective never before seen on film.
3 out of 4 Stars! "It’s rare for a documentary style to match its subject so ideally."
- THE GLOBE AND MAIL
"A ballad is traditionally a slow and sentimental love song, but there is nothing traditional about The Ballad of Genesis and Lady Jaye."
- THE NATIONAL POST
"Beneath the surface freak value of this doc however, is a tragic, moving love story."
"...one of the strangest love stories of our age."
- THE TORONTO STAR
"...an ultimate morphing of love"
- THE SUN
"...reflects the sensibility of its subjects without ever seeming precious or pretentious."
- THE GRID
NNNN - "nothing judgmental in this playful portrait of endearing characters"
- NOW MAGAZINE
Doc traces two risk-takers who pursued a powerful passion. An interview with Marie Losier (with audio clips)
- NOW MAGAZINE
"Genesis And Lady Jaye accurately portrays a restless artist with a kitchen-sink aesthetic, and offers up a film to match."
- AV CLUB
"...you’ve never seen a love story quite like this one"
- DORK SHELF
An interview with Genesis P-Orridge
- FAB MAGAZINE