Lady Gaga has nothing on Genesis Breyer P-Orridge.
The British performance artist and musician was a lightning rod for controversy in the 1970s, inventing industrial rock with the band Throbbing Gristle and engaging in transgressive conceptual-art display. At the time, her extreme presence was enough to lead an enraged member of parliament to condemn the Manchester native’s art collective as “wreckers of civilization.”
“People have an image of Genesis being extreme or scary,” said filmmaker Marie Losier. “She’s not.” The Brooklyn-based director spent much of the last seven years in the company of the performer, who was born Neil Andrew Megson in 1950 but no longer answers to the male pronoun and in conversation uses the collective “we” instead of the first-person singular. The reasons for that are a big part of Ms. Losier’s lyrical documentary “The Ballad of Genesis and Lady Jaye,” which screens Thursday in Brooklyn as part of BAMcinemaFest. The film, which has yet to find a distributor, is a kaleidoscopic portrait not only of a punk-era iconoclast but of the transformative powers—both literal and figurative—of love.
Read the full review of ‘The Ballad of Genesis and Lady Jaye’ at The Wall Street Journal.