Tribeca: The strange, but fitting “Ballad of Genesis P. Orridge and Lady Jaye”

This entry was posted on 29.04.2011

The Ballad of Genesis and Lady Jaye

The Ballad of Genesis and Lady Jaye

The marriage of Genesis P. Orridge and Lady Jaye might be one of the strangest in rock history. After their wedding the couple tried to become a “pandrogynous” being, two persons who are so similar to each other they might be one. The romance ended tragic – Lady Jaye died a few years ago because of a serious heart condition. “The Ballad of Genesis and Lady Jaye” tell the story of the couple – an experimental art-movie which is perfect to portray the former member of Throbbing Gristle and head behind Psychic TV.

Marie Losier’s film could have been gone in a lot of directions – it could have been a music documentary about Genesis P. Orrridge, about Throbbing Gristle and Psychic TV. The French filmmaker shot all the necessary things, she interviewed the members of TG and Gibby Haynes of the Butthole Surfers) in the many years of filming.

None of this is in “The Ballad of Genesis and Lady Jaye”, and even if it would have been extremely interesting to watch, it would have completely changed the character of this film which focuses on the romance. Orridge’s music career is explained within a few minutes, and Throbbing Gristle are shown live in one brief scene (non of their music made it onto the soundtrack). Most people, who will watch this movie, know about TG anyway.

But even the concept behind “Pandrogyne” is only explained briefly. After Genesis and Lady Jaye fell in love, they tried to become one – literally. They had the same haircuts, underwent cosmetic surgery, and even both got breast implants on Valentine’s Day 2003. Which was “extremely romantic”, as Genesis put it.

Losier shows glimpses of that and of a European tour with Psychic TV (Lady Jaye became a member despite not wanting to be in a rock band). The director also shows party scenes or everyday stuff – a cut-up, like Genesis P. Orridge prefers it. Which is probably the best way to show the couple anyway.

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