UK Premiere / Documentary – International
Marie Losier / USA / 2011 / 72 min / English
As couples go, it would be fair to say that Genesis P-Orridge and Lady Jaye aren’t your average sort. Madly in love, they decided to fulfil their desire to consume one another, to become unlimited by the boundaries of their bodies, and have cosmetic surgery to become like one another. In an act of love and androgyny, Genesis undergoes the most change and effectively becomes an Eddie Izzard version of his wife.
This film is pretty high on the weird factor. Genesis became famous – or perhaps that should be infamous – for his lead role in avant-garde music and visual arts group Throbbing Gristle. His performance art in the 1970s led to a nation-wide scandal, seeing him branded as ‘the tampon boy’ and a ‘wrecker of civilisation’. His marriage to Lady Jaye is equally bizarre, and his branding of it as one of the greatest love affairs ever is an unusual one. Other than their desire to look like one another, their love doesn’t seem any more intense than in any other relationship, which leaves one wondering if the real stimulus of the surgery wasn’t actually art and attention. Genesis’ interpretation of what is romantic leaves a lot to be desired, and focuses much more on sex and fetish than anything substantial; ironic really, given his supposed disregard for the body as any relation to the soul. Director Marie Losier’s editing is full of what seems to be home video clips – jumpy, interrupted, soundless – and yet the narrative tells us this can’t all be the case. Although it alludes to Genesis’ avant-garde past, such a style for a full feature is quite distracting and gets in the way of really exploring the couples’ feelings, experiences and motivations. For someone who is potentially very intriguing with a colourful past, this film barely scratches the surface and only gives us the weird without enough of the wonderful.