City Paper is not for tourists
Two Fugazi allies—Dutch punk quintet the Ex and Instrument director Jem Cohen—rendezvous at New York’s Knitting Factory for this concert-film-plus. Divided roughly in half between color and black-and-white, the movie presents an hour-length Ex set, interspersed with Cohen’s trademark shots of street scenes and vapor trails. It’s September 2004, and the Republicans are having their national convention in midtown, which gives a certain pertinence to such scratchy-funk Ex rants as “Henry K.” Still, this is mostly a record of a performance, and as such is designed only for Ex (and Cohen) fans. Mousetrap shows with two Cohen shorts, NYC Weights and Measures and Blessed Are the Dreams of Men; the first provides more impressionistic glimpses of Manhattan, while the latter, shot from inside a bus, could be described as a “music video”—albeit one without a promotional agenda.