Film Clip: The Ballad of Genesis and Lady Jaye

Rated 4.0

One charming feature of Marie Losier’s new documentary is its total failure of expository consideration. If The Ballad of Genesis and Lady Jaye seems randomly beamed in from outer space, that just goes to show its commitment to the material. For the sake of easier access, here’s some background: Once upon a time, one Genesis P-Orridge, frontman of proto-industrial noise outfit Throbbing Gristle, fell in love with a pretty young dominatrix called Lady Jaye. Their partnership was a charmed accumulation of poignant whimsy and unbridled creativity; eventually, maybe inevitably, it involved an ultimate consummation, the “Creating the Pandrogyne” project, in which the soul mates underwent plastic surgery to more closely resemble each other. When Lady Jaye died in 2007, or “dropped her body,” as Genesis nicely puts it, hearts were broken but the spell was not. Appropriately enough, Losier’s crazy quilt of home-movie and performance footage seems giddily undomesticated. Reveling unaplogetically in the self-exploratory allures of bohemian East Village chic, this is simply one sincere and affecting answer to the question of how to really live and love like an artist. J.K.