Dirs. Marcus Werner Hed, Dan Fox, UK, 2020, 82 min
Hull, England, 1970. In a run-down commune in a tough port city, a group of social misfits - mostly working class, mostly self-educated - adopted new identities and began making simple street theater under the name COUM Transmissions. Surviving on meagre resources at the margins of society, COUM’s playful performances gradually gave way to work that dealt openly with sex, pornography, and violence. At the core of the group were two artists, Genesis Breyer P-Orridge and Cosey Fanni Tutti: Cosey forged a unique position in relation to 1970s feminism by modelling for pornographic magazines as an exercise in conceptual artwork, while Genesis pushed himself to other extremes, testing the limits of the human body. By the mid-1970s, they had been chased out of Hull by the police and branded by the British press and politicians as ‘the wreckers of civilization’. At the height of their art-world notoriety, COUM turned their attention to music, starting a new phase as the confrontational and notorious band Throbbing Gristle. They built their own instruments, ran their own independent record label, and confronted the dark side of human nature with brutal honesty, inventing an entirely new genre of electronic music - 'Industrial'. The band became a major inspiration for subsequent generations of musicians, before imploding on stage in front of thousands of fans in San Francisco in 1981, not to reform for another 23 years...
OTHER, LIKE ME is the first documentary to be made about COUM Transmissions and Throbbing Gristle, drawing on the group's rich archive of photographs and video, and features new interviews with original members including Genesis and Cosey. Theirs is a story of creativity and survival against the odds, of completely fusing art with life, no matter what the cost.
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