Building a Broken Mousetrap: The Ex in New York

Building a Broken Mousetrap: The Ex in New York
Director Jem Cohen captures one of the world’s most vital punk bands from intimate and explosive angles in this gorgeously made concert film. It remains impossible to articulate why Holland’s the Ex are so powerful on-stage, why their performances inspire peers to experience what true musical freedom and conviction feel like. Fortunately, Cohen’s cameras are positioned like members of the band on-stage and the sound of this 2004 Knitting Factory show is pulverising. Shot in black and white, performances of "Henry K” are interspersed with footage of protesters outside of the 2004 Republican National Convention, while "Sister” showcases guitarists Terrie Ex and Andy Moor in full exploratory tilt, framing double-bassist Rozemarie Heggen and wonder drummer Katherina Ex pounding out crazed rhythms while vocalist G.W. Sok barks out lyrics, when not absorbing the sound from the side of the stage. With colour film of sites of construction and destruction in New York and Amsterdam, Building a Broken Mousetrap is a riveting, militant musical document. (Touch and Go)