Experimental film / video and the crisis

There have recently been a cluster of French mainstream films that can be seen to engage with the crisis and its fallout in one way or another. Some of them are discussed in French here.  There has also been a cluster of what one might call experimental films (no better term immediately coming to mind) that come at the crisis in their own very different ways. The first by Oliver Ressler and called simply What is Democracy draws together activists and theorists to examine the crisis of western models of democracy and to consider how the concept and practice of democracy might be renewed. The film chimes in productive ways with the spirit of the Occupy movement. Simple and thought provoking, it can be found here. The second, much shorter film comes from the Danish artists gathered under the name Superflex. A kind of pastiche of a TV hypnotist’s performance, it seeks to bring out some of the psychological responses associated with crisis. It can be found here. A third film, Popular Unrest, by artist Melanie Gilligan locates itself somewhere between CSI, horror movies and documentary to provide something like a fable of the post-crisis era. It is well worth watching. It can be found here. Gilligan’s wager is that fiction can bring things to the surface in ways that documentary cannot necessarily do. This belief was also in evidence in her earlier and noted work Crisis in the Credit System, a film which used a fictional management training day to explore scenarios associated with the crisis. It can be found here.

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