we have an anchor


Jem Cohen: We Have An Anchor from EMPAC @ Rensselaer on Vimeo.

i attended the friday night screening of jem cohen’s we have an anchor at BAM. the film had a three-night run at the harvey theater, a beautiful space for both film and performance. many moons ago nick cave scored a rendition of kafka’s metamorphosis there, and i had a lovely august saturday seeing woody allen’s summer ode to a streetcar named desire, blue jasmine. shown on five screens and featuring a seven member musical ensemble, cohen’s film is a melancholy ode to cape breton, the island off the northeastern coast of nova scotia. the ensemble featured such musicians as jessica moss, efrim manuel menuck, sophie trudeau, mira bilotte and jim white; all painstakingly present in the score they also composed. a film of few words with noteworthy exceptions, such as the poet elizabeth bishop, it is a quaint, convalescent mixture of past, present and future–beautifully depicting a graveyard of ideas. cohen came out and gave a little wave of his cap after the performance; many were moved, as i overheard in both the corridors and the front of the theater. what’s certain, to me, is that this film undoubtedly belongs in the permanent collection of moma, or maybe criterion, if they’re feeling arty. to learn more about the “unusual but accessible” mr. cohen, read hereby sv