Friday, 22 April 2011

The Kinetic Genius of Jeff Keen

Jeff Keen’s films remind you of why Edison called his early film projection device the Kinetoscope – they are full of motion and energy, crazed, febrile things that burst onto the screen in a barrage of crashing planes, mushroom clouds, plastic soldiers, fires, floods, sexy girls, super heroes and super villains, starring his friends and family and set to intriguing and ear popping soundtracks. The young Keen had fought in World War Two (he called it ‘the best time of my life’) and the violence and anarchy of that experience was a major and indelible influence on him.

Keen’s work is undeniably experimental, but to me it seems like the product of a parallel universe film industry where horror, sci fi and soft porn are the only influences: Hollywood with the boring and talky bits taken out, a gleeful disordering of narrative that goes wherever it likes, however it likes, at 250 miles an hour: comic books, high art, popular cliché and the avant garde, all delivered in one super fast short burst of energy, like a shot of adrenaline to the heart.

Oh, this film contains flashing imagery and nudity so please don't watch if you are troubled by either. 


  1. Nicely put.

    I like the effect of Jeff Keen's films on the brain. After a couple of hours of watching plastic dolls melt down the side of buildings I'm ready to face the world.

    The BFI's excellent Gazwrx dvd is well worth a look, but be careful not to overdose and burn out too many mental connections.
    Hope mr Keen is feeling alright today, I'm told his health is extremely poor at the moment.

  2. Gazwrx - once the curry is ready - that's tonights DVD action...

    Quality box of eye candy...

    MP Flapp