Seattle's Jose Bold hits some peaks in "Mountain," a found-footage film fantasia showing at ACT Theatre.
It has Mount Rainier. It has coffee. It has beautiful, eccentric tunes.
That should be enough to recommend “Mountain,” a found-footage film fantasia with live musical accompaniment, assembled by John Osebold, the long-haired singer/songwriter/multi-instrumentalist of local art-rock band “Awesome” who, in his side projects, goes by “Jose Bold.”
In a preview of “Mountain” last week, Bold/Osebold got sterling accompaniment from singer-percussionist Kirk Anderson, also of “Awesome.” Their two voices blended as delectably as Lennon and McCartney’s, while their stage presence lightly interlocked with some mighty odd goings-on on the screen above them.
“Mountain” takes its sometimes sublime, sometimes ridiculous film imagery from the Prelinger Archives, a repository of educational, industrial and amateur films, including vintage television ads and public-service announcements. Osebold has spliced and manipulated these into a 65-minute movie that incorporates 1920s climbing footage from Mount Rainier, old Folgers coffee-ad campaigns, a special appearance by Smokey Bear and, most peculiarly, an underwater picnic.
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Also: tunnels, tunnels, tunnels.
Themes of impending disaster and primal rejuvenation succeed one another in a loosely associative manner. Some of the musical score is more ambient than song-shaped, but the best of the tunes — “Snowflake” among them — are gems. (You can listen to “Snowflake” on www.josebold.com.)
Don’t look for strict narrative logic in “Mountain.” Just sit back, take in the alternately serene and sinister scenery, and you may find yourself humming along with it.
Michael Upchurch: firstname.lastname@example.org