The Parallax View (1974)

theparallaxview

Jules: If politics is theatre, and the public are the audience, and the affairs of the day are the script, who are the writers, and where do the actors come from? Can the actors perceive the truth they are playing a role in a work they have mistaken to be their own lives? What if they should?

David: Considered part of Alan J. Pakula’s “paranoia trilogy”, along with Klute (1971) and All the President’s Men (1976), The Parallax View is a reporter cum detective story surveying the creation of homegrown chaos agents and fall guys of obscure origin, or what we refer to today as terrorists. This birthplace seems to be a rabbit hole so deep and tortuous that exploring it, you might find yourself turning into the perp without even realising. Can the great conspiratocracy  recruit even its enemies? Are we all in some way doomed to be recruited by a machine that no one is even driving?

Right-click to download mp3.
Advertisements

Æon Flux : The Purge (1995)

aeonpurge

Jules: Our commentary expands to include the small(er) screen in this episode, namely the stellar Æon Flux series of MTV short films from the 1990s. Are we all the self-deluding victims of deterministic circumstance, or can we freely choose between possible outcomes as truly moral agents? We examine the cases brought forward by arch-provocatrix Æon, dictator-for-life Trevor, and gonzo-comedian-psychopath Bambara.

David: We attempt to bring our rational thoughts to bear upon the mind-mangling dream logic of Æon Flux, and observe the absolute power of Trevor Goodchild corrupted by absolute existential quandry. The spidery form of his nemesis-love-idol weaves a web of irony around him and all the while sticky pleasure traps to snare them both abound.

Right-click to download mp3.

Demonlover (2002)

demonlover

David: We actually fulfil our brief this time and bring you a genuinely overlooked film. Connie Nielsen is a high flying minion of anime porn merchants by day and cat-burglar by night, who wanders out of her depth into a world of corporate play and counter play. She discovers the company ladder that goes all the way to the top also goes all the way to the bottom.

Jules: The best, late period William Gibson film adaptation not actually adapted from a William Gibson novel, Demonlover intersects oblique characters and narratives to produce an aesthetically integrated nightmare of Postmodern fragmentation. When unconscious entities (like corporations, nationalities, and religious movements before them) evolve djinn-like abilities to tempt, trap, and consume their human constituents in the sociopathic pursuit of marketshare, do they signal a future when identity, self-awareness and morality are as irrelevant as ‘junk’ DNA?

Right-click to download mp3.

Eyes Wide Shut (1999)

ews

Jules: It seems Kubrick’s last film (excluding conspiracy theories, or Spielberg public relations) disappointed, riled, puzzled, or otherwise stymied almost everyone who saw it upon first release. A publicity campaign that teased a salacious treatment of the hottest Hollywood couple at the time didn’t altogether help. But has the passage of time, and the rumors that surround the film, suggested a re-reading? Is it a cynical, last gesture of a cool-minded technician? A plodding attempt by a blocked artist to reconnect with fading emotions? A final confession by a regretful propagandist? Or the closest thing to a love story Kubrick could make?

David: A film that punctuates the lives of both its stars and and its director, marking the end of Kubrick’s life and the end of Tom and Nicole’s marriage. Is this about too much honesty or too much mendacity? Intimations of infidelity send Tom on a walking tour of a hitherto undiscovered hell populated by lost women, to ends and threats obscure.

Right-click to download mp3.