Theory of Obscurity: A Film about the Residents

Directed by: Don Hardy, Jr.


Total Runtime: 87 min

Country of Origin: USA/Austria/Germany/Netherlands

Official Selection, South by Southwest.

Crown Hall
Sunday June - 5 - 3:00 PM





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“No matter your musical tastes, the enduring power of any group of people to continue to inspire others, especially those who find themselves on the outskirts of the status quo, is a worthy feat, and Theory of Obscurity pays tribute where tribute is due."

Ananda Dillon, Way Too Indie

(Q&A with filmmaker after screening)

Theory of Obscurity tells the story of the renegade sound and video collective known as The Residents – a story that spans 40 years and is clouded in mystery. Many details surrounding the group are secret, including the identities of its members, since they always perform wearing masks and costumes as part of their magic. Fortunately, The Residents have a management company, The Cryptic Corporation, that helped the filmmakers tell this unique story by allowing the film crew unprecedented access to the group’s vast archives and 40th anniversary tour. Through fly-on-the-wall observations and candid interviews, this film tells the story of a group that has always played by its own set of rules. Features interviews with Devo, Primus, Ween, The Talking Heads, Pinback, and many other well-known figures in the music industry.