From the campy, semi-improvised apocalyptic narrative Don’t Go Back to Sleep to Stand in the Stream, a moving film-essay on view at MoMA PS1 through September 4th, Kahn has defied labels and expectations. When asked to select a movie that had a particular impact on her life, she found herself torn between eclectic options. “Enter the Dragon, which scarred me for life after seeing it too young at age six?” she pondered.
“The Marx Brothers oeuvre that I watched in all-day marathons to beat the summer heat as a kid? Paper Moon? Young Frankenstein? The Harder They Come? Yellow Submarine? Richard Pryor’s Live in Concert with my mom at age 11? Liquid Sky at 15? Pasolini’s Oedipus Rex? Holy Mountain? Every Cassavetes film? Killer of Sheep? Born in Flames? Naked Spaces: Living is Round? Symbiopsychotaxiplasm, or Jeanne Dielman, 23, Quai du Commerce, 1080 Bruxelles? The Right Way? Crystal Voyager? Pain & Gain?”
Finally, after a “panic of picking,” Kahn made a decision. “Last week, in a spontaneous pop-culture education moment on a long car ride with my 12-year-old, I played the entire record of Pink Floyd’s The Wall. He prefers Young Thug, but listened intently. I hadn’t heard the album since probably 1983. I first saw the movie at age 13, on opening night and (stupidly) on my first acid trip. Pre-dating popular music videos, but post-The Who’s Tommy, The Wall’s editing and sound design make seamless shifts between live-action and animation, between the images formed in our minds from listening to the music and the images onscreen.
“Full of existential crises—namely those that stem from the blurring of socio-political terror (for example, the rise of fascism) with personal anxiety and depression—The Wall might hold up as a perfect rock film for youth living in the nightmare of Trump times.”