Directed by: M. Slinger
My mom’s been interested in glass blowing ever since I can remember. Of course, every time she made me sit and watch some guy make a piece, I was a little kid and the person was just making some cutesy little snowman or some shit like that, and I could not possibly have been more interested. I think this has a lot to do with the fact that I never really thought of a glass pipe as being anything other than a tool, and definitely not an art form of any sort. Well, I was wrong.
Degenerate Art is a documentary about the underground world of glass pipe-making. Sure, the things are used for smoking weed, but drugs have nothing to do with it. It’s a movement of young men and women taking a new medium and finding out what they can do with it, and that’s just awesome. I could talk all day about how cool it is that people are still finding new ways to create art. I only with this doc had done the same.
Basically what it comes down to is that this is just a poorly-made documentary, and it’s a damn shame. It was definitely able to pique my curiosity about the art form, but it completely failed to answer every single question I had about it. For instance, it seems like an obvious step to start your documentary about glass blowing by telling your audience even the vaguest idea of how glass blowing works before launching into the self-congratulating fellatio of the artists involved, but nope. The director was clearly involved in the movement, and does a very bad job at explaining any background to people who don’t know anything about it. And I really WANTED to know more about it. I understand that it’s a little tricky, just because these people ARE making drug paraphinalia and it’s kinda sorta illegal-ish? But it just feels like if you made a documentary about programming in the 60’s and you completely failed to mention what a computer is or does. I really wanted to like this movie more than I did, which is the most disappointing feeling to have coming out of a documentary. Maybe in a couple years after weed is legalized we can get a real filmmaker to take a crack at the subject material.