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“GIRL” You Can’t Spin Forever – A Documentary by Kandeyce Jorden

August 27th, 2013 · 2 Comments

Girl Poster (1)                       By Kely Lyons  HOLLYWOOD(Hollywood Today)8/27/13/–Filmmaker Kandeyce Jorden slips us two key secrets early on in “Girl”, her documentary about female DJs that will have its US premier on Thursday, September 19th, at the Egyptian Theater in Hollywood. The first is her consternation over the fact that her intense desire to have a baby with husband and fellow filmmaker David Veloz was “running her” in 2001, even as they were having serious festival success together with her directorial debut, “Undone”, which David wrote and produced. A little more than year later she got her wish; Oskar, a healthy, cheerful baby boy. main     www.girlthemovie.com    
DJ Rap

DJ Rap

              Though Jorden loved being a stay-at-home mum, she began feeling left behind, afraid that she was losing traction in her career, afraid her husband wouldn’t find her interesting if she couldn’t keep up. When David gets a gig writing a feature about girl DJs, Jorden offers to do a research documentary about the real thing – the girls who DJ for a living. The second secret she gives us is that, in a different world, Jorden would happily have lived the wild life of a female DJ. It’s this last obsession that largely drives her, after the birth of her son, back out into the field with her camera. As someone who loves the music and who – at least once a month – “has to dance all night and just howl at the moon”, Jorden is well-suited to tour her audience through the rarified atmosphere of the female DJ.
DJ Irene

DJ Irene

              As she digs into their world, Jorden uncovers the secret “whys” to some of the girl DJ’s career choices. DJ Mea, for instance, started spinning as revenge in response to a DJ ex-boyfriend’s assertion that she “would never understand dance music”. The women take endless flack for being female in a predominantly male world. Hearing the back-handed compliment that “you’re pretty good, for a girl” has toughened them up, and the girls give back as good as they get because, as DJ Colette says, what makes a DJ great are  “ – ears and hands – it’s not different depending on your gender.” The lure – aside from the music – seems to be the trance-like, “in the zone” experience that DJing gives, a high these vinyl jocks get from nothing else in their lives. Jorden does a good job of letting each artist explain the feelings and sensations the work gives them.  It’s a high-energy rush of impulse and the release of inhibitions, all carefully controlled by the DJ’s choices of rhythm and beat. Control – of the crowd and most especially, control of the energy the crowd generates – is the key source of power for the women, and they ride that wave each according to their own personality. DJ Irene works it likes a driving force of nature – “In the beginning there was Irene!” coming out strong from the start, while DJ Colette takes it smooth, working her mellow groove until the audience will follow her anywhere. The unifying principal among all of them is the way they respond to the music; they are moved by it, mind, body and soul. They can’t help it. It’s what they are, it’s what they do.
Sandra Collins in Miami

Sandra Collins in Miami

            While the world holds an intense fascination for Jorden, it isn’t until she meets DJ Sandra Collins – the rock star of all fem DJs, dubbed the “Goddess of Trance”- that she feels she’s met her muse, her reason for doing the film. From the start, Jorden is protective and nurturing of Collins, who – despite her star-studded rep – catches flack from both sides in the DJ gender wars. Jorden follows Collins as she struggles with the realities of having to turn what she loves doing – playing music to make other people feel good – into a business. When she started DJing, she didn’t really think it made a difference if she was a girl or guy but now, fifteen years later, she knows the difference all too well. Subjected to a constant scrutiny none of the male DJs have to experience, she struggles to maintain her sense of why she started DJing in the first place, why she loves it. Following Collins from Burning Man to clubs, photo shoots, business meetings and raves, Jorden is also exploring her own life, most prominently her failing marriage and her search to find where she herself belongs. Part way through filming, Jordon and her husband separate and she finds herself “anxious, adrenalized, scared”. Part of the fem DJ world by virtue of her camera, but always in truth an outsider, she finds herself searching for some sense of purpose and connection through her material as the film becomes a dream-like reverie of Jorden’s travels while on tour. At this point, somewhat inexplicably, DJ Collins begins to push Jorden further and further away, depriving her of any sense of closure for the film. Some months later Collins, now sober, asks her to come along on a 12-day tour of Eastern Europe. Jorden agrees, hoping she can find an ending for the film. But it doesn’t work; Jorden ends up alone and sobbing in a hotel room, coming to some painful and difficult realizations about herself. Without hammering her audience with gender politics – even as she keeps awareness of the gender of her subjects front and center – Jorden creates a dream-like atmosphere that, coupled with subtle choices of music on the soundtrack, allows viewers a fascinating glimpse into a rarified segment of the live entertainment world that few will ever see. www.girlthemovie.com                            

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