Unless you've been hanging out on the art-house circuit, Bodysong is unlike most any movie you've seen before. Not exactly a documentary, and certainly not a scientific undertaking, this wordless collage of moving pictures and music tells the story of human life from the womb to the tomb, but that barely begins to characterize a work that effectively defies description. In his first feature effort, director Simon Pummell (an appropriate name, considering the relentless onslaught of images he presents) has assembled a huge array of film clips of various origins, ages (some are up to 100 years old, but few are recent), and quality (lots of black & white, many home movies, and plenty of obscure, grainy footage of unknown provenance) showing people doing what they do: being conceived, then born, and then growing up, eating, having sex, worshipping, senselessly killing one another, creating, living, dying.
It's not always easy on the eyes; the extended sequence of newborns emerging from their mothers' wombs is an astonishing piece of filmmaking, lurid, graphic (as is a good deal of this uncensored film), definitely not for the squeamish, but wonderfully joyful as well. The score, by Jonny Greenwood of Radiohead, is often quite effective, although its dissonant and bathetic elements tend to grate upon prolonged exposure. But then, that's no doubt the point. Bodysong, which Pummell also developed as a website and a gallery installation, is clearly not intended to make anyone feel comfortable.