Searching for the Wrong-Eyed Jesus follows songwriter Jim White on a journey through the heart and soul of the American South. White and his insights putter through the truck stops, tiny towns, jailhouses and juke joints in a 1970 Chevy with a giant Christ jutting from the trunk. Along the way the film evokes Flannery OConnor and William Faulkner, and tries to divine the source of the Souths creative waters. White also curates its sound track, where the common threads are reverence, mystery and danger. His own compositions Christmas Day, Still Waters are wise pieces of magnetic avant-folk. But its the darkly lyrical Wound That Never Heals thats just spellbinding. (Honey, whats wrong? Oh, nothing, dear. Cept that tears are a stupid trick of God ...) White includes the Handsome Familys creepy gothic country novella My Sisters Tiny Hands, and a white-knuckle take on the traditional Wayfaring Stranger from 16 Horsepower and Woven Hand mastermind David Eugene Edwards. The Moaners Melissa Swingle pulls Amazing Grace out of a billowing saw, and Cat Powers Crossbones Style is an eerily cool classic from 1998s Moon Pix. There are no local screenings scheduled for Wrong-Eyed Jesus. But until there are, its sound track offers plenty to explore.
Johnny Loftus writes about music for Metro Times. E-mail [email protected].