Jem Cohen’s prescient and insightful 2004 feature is a profound investigation of the new ‘non-places’. A hypnotic, highly original work about what it’s like to live in the global corporate landscape. Introduced by poet and critic Sophie Mayer.
Chain (2004) 99 mins
As regional character disappears and corporate culture homogenizes our surroundings, it’s increasingly hard to tell where you are. In Chain, malls, theme parks, hotels and corporate centers worldwide are joined into one monolithic contemporary “superlandscape” that shapes the lives of two women caught within it. One is a corporate businesswoman set adrift by her corporation while she researches the international theme park industry. The other is a young drifter, living and working illegally on the fringes of a shopping mall. Cohen contrives to turn the entire planet into a stretch of New Jersey commercial property–a universe that feels entirely real yet has the distinct smack of J.G. Ballard otherness.
Jem Cohen’s Chain is a hypnotic, highly original piece about what it’s like to live in the new global corporate landscape. – Daily Telegraph
Dreamlike… transforms a mundane world into something strange and new… formidable power… fierce political intelligence. – Village Voice
Brooklyn-based artist film-maker Jem Cohen (b. 1962) is one of cinema’s pre-eminent essay and diary makers. Working with renowned independent musicians such as Patti Smith and Vic Chesnutt, Cohen has made more than seventy works over three decades.
The Whitechapel Gallery presents six screenings in Cohen’s first UK retrospective film season with Barbican and Hackney Picturehouse.
For full season listings for Jem Cohen: Compass and Magnet (31 March – 28 May) click here