Sundance 2010 Review: ODDSAC

Chase Whale

by: Chase Whale
January 29th, 2010

Rating: 8/10

Director/Editor: Danny Perez
Music: Animal Collective

I'm really not sure where to begin this review. I guess I could start by saying that ODDSAC is a very odd name, but it's fitting when referring to its creators: director Danny Perez and the widely popular indie band, Animal Collective. Perez has directed the music videos for the group's singles "Who Could Win a Rabbit?" and "Summertime Clothes" and is also the visualist for the Animal Collective live shows, so if you've been to one of the group's shows, then you know your eyes are in for a rare treat.

After walking out of ODDSAC's world premiere, here are some of the notes I jotted down: "Will make Tim Burton proud," "Distorted," "Mind-fuck," and "Marshmallow."

I walked into ODDSAC completely sober, but walked out feeling like I dropped two hits of acid-- it's that trippy. Of course, with this being an art collective video, none of it makes sense and viewers should be 100% okay with that. (really, it plays out like a very long and insane Animal Collective music video). What we get in this film is a series of shorts (sort-of), each with a different song by the band. At one point in the film, it cuts to a boy telling the audience he hates everything but green beans - random, humorous, and completely awesome. There was also a moment in the screening when the film got so intense for my brain, I had to pinch myself to make sure I was still alive.

Here's a segment description for you - it gets a bit rowdy. Campers are cooking marshmallows by the campfire. But of course, it's not just a steady shot of John Smith, his wife, and their beautiful kids eating marshmallows while chanting campfire songs. It's close-ups, quickly edited cinematography that punches you in the face, loud music, and yes, marshmallows eating the campers. Stay Puft making a comeback? One can only hope.

My one (and only) complaint about ODDSAC is the excessive use of strobes. It became a bit extreme at times, and I did have to close my eyes and just listen. Maybe this is what they wanted, since the music is just as likable as the film. Smart move for Perez and the Collective.

In the end, this film is what Animal Collective's music would look like. I hope this is one of many feature-length films they put together.

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