Alex Bag’s “Untitled Fall ’95”

Alex Bag in a scene from Fall '95

I was assigned to watch the film, Untitled Fall ’95 by artist, Alex Bag, for my thesis class. Following the viewing, we were to write a brief review/critique of the video and post it. Here is a brief summary of the film and some other biographical information regarding Alex Bag: via Wikipedia.

As many other viewers of this film have stated, Bag’s Fall ’95 is rather difficult to watch. This difficulty is due primarily to two reasons: her painfully stereotyped rendition of a typical college art student, and the—seemingly long—jarring clips interspersed between scenes where Bag addresses the viewer.

As the film progresses, Bag progresses semesterly through art school at The School of Visual Arts, and becomes increasingly more “artsy.” By the end of the film, she has taken up coffee and smoking, wearing thick-black rimmed glasses, sporting a short-cropped, dyed-black, hair cut, and wearing a nose ring and punk-ish studded collar—all at once.

In between the 8 segments where Bag talks to the camera/viewer, are few-minute clips of what seem to be Bag’s art-film projects from the semester she is in at that point in the film. These clips are surreal commentaries on popular culture of the 90’s, such as in the very first clip that takes the form of a late night phone-sex-line television advertisement in order  to talk about the objectification of women by men. Many of the clips attempt to be humorous, however, tend to come across as annoying or rote, as Bag often repeats similar lines and/or does not change the camera-view often. Also, when the scene calls for voice acting for characterizations, Bag’s voices come across as shrill and strained—not the easiest to listen to.

Overall, Alex Bag’s Untitled Fall ’95 provides a somewhat interesting opinion on the over-consumed-by-pop-culture world that a young artist has to find out how to deal with through comedy and tongue-in-cheek sarcasm for those who choose to sit through all 57 minutes of it.

-rgm

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