2013 SXSW Review: A YEAR IN THE LIFE OF WAYNE’S PHONE

By Mark Saldana

Rating: 2.5 (Out of 4 Stars)

Well, at least the title is truthful. This documentary feature literally consists of video clips taken from the iPhone of Wayne Coyne, lead singer and guitarist of The Flaming Lips.  These clips really have little rhyme or reason to them, other than that they are glimpses of Wayne Coyne’s life as an artist and musician.  In fact, because he held his phone vertically instead of horizontally, it takes three separate clips to fill the screen.  This glimpse into the life and career of Coyne at times is rather intriguing and humorous, but often times, has its dull moments and loud obnoxious scenes.  For example, the film features clips of Coyne and other musicians experimenting in recording sessions, playing various instruments, but the sounds usually are loud screeching and annoying.  I understand that Coyne wished to capture the artistic process he and his band go through to create their music, I just wished that they had adjusted the volume some to make it more tolerable.

This film really is just another example of Coyne’s love of artistic experimentation.   I would have preferred something more polished and cohesive, but I suppose that wasn’t the purpose.  I do realize art is not always pretty and palatable, but in this case I feel Coyne’s clips could have been chosen more carefully to avoid some of the redundancies.  Seeing several different clips of musicians screeching their instruments or watching several concert clips with Coyne mugging to the camera get old after a while

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