Foggy Mountains Breakdown More Than Non-Foggy Mountains

An old-fashioned, absurdist-epic journey begins to prove the motion picture's lone hypothesis: that foggy mountains breakdown more than non-foggy mountains.

super8, 16mm, video / 59 minutes / 2006


Taking the film as a band made up of instruments used in filmmaking - sound, image, text and speech to name a few - each breaks down in both ways, at times soaring above the others, at other times deteriorating into poetic confusion, only to be reintegrated into the master structure and born anew.
Hit Repeat by Kevin McGarry, Art In America

Foggy's a strange brew of visual semi-sequiturs and relentless editorial logic.
—Ed Halter, Village Voice

With its absurdist intertitles and bright abstractions, Jessie Stead's charming, playful Foggy Mountains Breakdown More Than Non-Foggy Mountains lives up to its weird name.
Fred Camper, Chicago Reader

At first appearing to be a free association of diaristic text and image, Jessie Stead’s structuralist road movie quickly reveals more hardcore pattern-making as it proceeds, offering up a strange brew of visual semi-sequiturs and totalizing editorial logic. Each segment in the piece contains different iterations of the same core elements, presented in repeated order: an image of a fire-burnt CD surrounded by golden-blonde hair, a distorted voiceover, frenetic Super-8 footage shot on global peregrinations, and mutating abstractions paired with various renditions of bluegrass standard “Foggy Mountain Breakdown," finally concluding with a cryptic scrolling-text coda before the cycle reboots anew. Like Jon Moritsugu doing a Hollis Frampton cover, Stead's giddily sui generis film is, amongst other things, a cascade of killer solos, a funky exegesis, and a self-immolating essay—a breakdown in every sense of the word.
MoMA PS1, 2010 Greater New York Cinema Program

Foggy multi-channel installation version, dimensions variable, Bard MFA, 2006


piano theme from the motion picture soundtrack
c/o The Foggy Mountains Breakdown More Than Non-Foggy Mountains Band