#Walt Lovelace’s new #film Desperate Houseflies was screened recently at Movie Towne’s Cinema 10 in #Trinidad. The 37-minute #documentary captures the recording of #jointpop‘s latest album The January Transfer Window, which was released earlier this year.
The band recorded the album at a house in Point Radix in #Mayaro, which engineer Ryan Agostini transformed into a temporary studio. For one week the band left everything behind to focus on the task they had set themselves. And Lovelace was on hand to capture the creative process.
He related in an interview how he went into the project “with a clear idea of how I was going to do it. I didn’t know what I was going to get, but I knew how I wanted to put it all together.”
Lovelace can be proud of the result.
The film is visually striking, serving up sumptuous images of Mayaro’s scenery: cuts to rural streets, panoramic sunlit bays, serene swamps, and fishing village vignettes. These form the backdrop for interviews with band members and clips of the recording sessions. Far from being flat, these are stylishly shot and well-composed, with a beautiful use of radiant, natural light.
The film is visually striking, serving up sumptuous images of Mayaro’s scenery: cuts to rural streets, panoramic sunlit bays, serene swamps, and fishing village vignettes. These form the backdrop for interviews with band members and clips of the recording sessions. Far from being flat, these are stylishly shot and well-composed, with a beautiful use of radiant, natural light.’
Lovelace captures the band members — Gary Hector (guitars, vocals), Damon Homer (guitars), Dion Camacho (drums), Phil Hill (keys) and Jerome Girdharrie (bass)—“living the album,” as Homer puts it, recording charming, funny exchanges between the men.
Having worked with the band on music videos for Urgent and After Half-Past Nine, Lovelace was able to use this closeness to give viewers an intimate inside look at the workings of the band. “I am familiar with them,” he says, “so we were very comfortable working together.”
The musicians give candid accounts of where they see themselves as a band at this moment and how they create the music.
Lovelace intersperses hundreds of black-and-white photographs through the film, adding to the sense of “almost being there” and echoing the visual style of the CD.
And then, of course, there is the music. From the opening shots of rolling cocal along the drive to Mayaro, over the recording of Mayaro Heartburn Blues, it is apparent that Desperate Houseflies is the story of the album. Lovelace makes it happen with excellent sound quality and editing.
Hector gives the meanings behind some of the songs, explaining that not all have clear stories: sometimes the work itself directs its final form.
Hector is, of course, the star of the show. Appearing in his iconic dreadlocked, sun-glassed, and rosary-bedecked persona, he opens up to reveal more: the trials of creating music to an audience that will not listen; the break-up and reformation of the band; the fact that they have yet to “cross over” over to mainstream success.
But despite setbacks, all the jointpop men are passionate about continuing their “mission” and serious about making music.
Desperate Houseflies is a valuable document, showcasing a hardworking band that deserves to tell its story—and to have it heard. Lovelace’s depiction is at once revealing, optimistic and very beautiful.
After the screening of the film, which enjoyed a good turnout, the band performed a polished set at the nearby J Malone’s.