Wax Or The Discovery Of Television Among The Bees

A fascinating if numbing independent feature by David Blair, transferred from video to film with remarkable computer graphics and other special effects. The intricate science-fantasy plot, which is narrated in an offscreen monotone by Blair, involves, among many other things, a beekeeper and cinematographer (represented by a photo of William S. Burroughs) who films the moving spirits of the dead circa 1914; his grandson (played by Blair), half sister, and brother-in-law; the desert near Alamogordo, New Mexico, and the Trinity nuclear test site there; the moon; the planet of television; the Tower of Babel; the Garden of Eden Cave (a town the size of Manhattan beneath the New Mexican desert); and the gulf war. The images obliquely illustrate the narrative, and the constant visual flux often suggests a graphic novel translated into MTV, which helps to account for the numbing effect. The results are highly watchable, though more intellectually than emotionally involving (1990). (JR)

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