Animal Collective’s ODDSAC: The Reviews Are In

Well, a review is in. Hitfix’s Katie Hasty took one for the internet by traveling out to Sundance (tough gig) for last night’s premiere of Animal Collective and Danny Perez’s “visual album.” The 53-minute film, set to entirely new music from the band, is described as “a very colorful movie that entirely lacks a plot, but is a series of musical and visual motifs to make a whole.” That there’s no discernable narrative arc at play is about as surprising as its use of “very long kaleidoscopic interstitials of deep dye,” and like their most eccentric work, it’s possible there isn’t any sense to be made of it at all. In a post-film Q&A with 3/4 of the band (yes Deakin, no Panda), director Danny Perez was perfectly obtuse: “It’s for fiction of things,” he said. Helpful! (Not helpful.) Hitfix offers a few descriptive graphs of what’s in store:

A wall spews tar as a woman fruitlessly tries to suppress it. A man with a glittery face and gauze wrapped on his head plays an autoharp where no autoharp has business playing. A family of four consumes roasted marshmallows, which then grotesquely consumes them; then, they in turn are consumed by a sad vampire, whom earlier in the film captained a lone canoe.

ODDSAC is bass-heavy and droning, filled with bad guys with unknowable complaints and pleasing color palates when the melodies kick in. Much like Animal Collective shows, there are very long kaleidoscopic interstitials of deep dye and repetitive sound, serving as undulating provocations and exhilations between the more songy-songs.

A man with long, white hair sets up a three-piece drum kit in the middle of a rocky, dried river bed and plays consistently, with interspersed rapid-fire cinematic hiccups in the key of heavy metal. A quartet of indie-hip girls pretend to bake on a tiny stage built in the middle of the woods as Glitter Face unsupportively chides them until they all erupt in a food fight.

So, there’s that. Twitter was there too:

ODDSAC, the Animal Collective film, makes Matthew Barney look like Matthew McConaughey. Trippy, dense, intense, atonal, dark, fractured” -@jamesrocchi

“I walked into ODDSAC completely sober. I walked out feeling like I dropped two hits of Acid. Animal Collective fans, you’re in for a treat.” -@chasewhale

“Had to walk out on oddsac #sundance fail”
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Sounds about right. If you’re interested in a 26-second preview, try this trailer, and check the screening dates.