What Jack Built
What is Jack building in his cellar? Does it have anything to do with that creature out in the woods?
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Producer/s : Matthew Mahler, Ross Maher
Director/s : Matthew Maher,
Writer/s : Matthew Maher, Ross Maher
Actor/s : Timothy J Cox,
It's out there, in the trees...
And he has a mission. He’s building a trap. For out in the woods lurks… something.
But if you don’t know what it is you’re trying to catch, how do you know if your trap is strong enough? How do you know the trapper might not become the trapped?
There’s no dialogue, just Timothy J Cox’s Jack, chomping a cigar, red-faced and sweatily obsessed. We don’t know whether to root for him or pity him, or possibly even fear him. And stuff, so much stuff, strewn across the cellar, piled against the walls. The junk should have been credited as extras. They weren’t, so let’s give a nod to John Heerlein, the one-man art department.
And let’s not pass over the fact that this is Matthew Mahler’s film. He wrote it, directed it, filmed it, and – no surprise – edited it. It keeps moving, the camera plays with Jack and all his kit, following cables, watching bolts snap home. It even making a drill-bit going through board somehow erotic.
If Cox is the star, he’s nearly upstaged by the music. Some is like Eno or Ligeti, some’s a bit Vangelis, and a lot is (fittingly) reminiscent of Kraftwerk. All is composed and performed by Matthew Mahler. He’s worked so hard for you, the least you can do is watch his film!