The plot concerns a young punk rock enthusiast (Estevez) in Los Angeles who finds himself partnered with a jaded repossession agent (Stanton) and subsequently caught up in the pursuit for a mysterious car that might be connected to extraterrestrials. The soundtrack is noted as a snapshot of the early-’80s Los Angeles hardcore punk scene.
timespace coordinates: 1990’s California, Mexico, the Arctic
The Arrival is a 1996 American-Mexican science fiction horror film directed by David Twohy and starring Charlie Sheen, and co-starring Lindsay Crouse, Ron Silver, Teri Polo, and Richard Schiff. Sheen stars as radio astronomer Zane Zaminsky who discovers evidence of intelligent alien life and quickly gets thrown into the middle of a conspiracy that turns his life upside down. (wiki)
timespace coordinates: 2011 Los AngelesUnder the Silver Lake is a 2018 American neo-noir mystery film written, produced and directed by David Robert Mitchell. Set in Los Angeles, it stars Andrew Garfield as a young man who sets out on a quest to investigate the sudden disappearance of his neighbour (Riley Keough), only to stumble upon an elusive and dangerous large-scale conspiracy.
Joshua Rothkopf of Time Out gave the film a perfect five rating, calling it “Hypnotic, spiraling and deliriously high” and stating “the ambition of Under the Silver Lake is worth cherishing. It will either evaporate into nothingness or cohere into something you’ll want to hug for being so wonderfully weird.” Eric Kohn of IndieWire gave a positive review, calling it “a bizarre and outrageous drama grounded in the consistency of Garfield’s astonishment at every turn. […] Aided by cinematographer Mike Gioloukas’ sunny visuals and a searching Disasterpiece score, the movie becomes a bittersweet ode to wanting answers from an indifferent world overwhelmed by superficial distractions. The homage can be irritating and some of the transitions work better than others across an unwieldy running time — but even the flaws speak to the movie’s beguiling raison d’être. It’s fascinating to watch Mitchell grasp for a bigger picture with the wild ambition of his scruffy protagonist.”
Owen Gleiberman of Variety gave a positive review, calling it “a down-the-rabbit-hole movie, at once gripping and baffling, fueled by erotic passion and dread but also by the code-fixated opacity of conspiracy theory. The movie is impeccably shot and staged, with an insanely lush soundtrack that’s like Bernard Herrmann-meets-Angelo-Badalamenti-on-opioids. When it’s over, though, you feel like you’ve seen a meta-mystery made by someone who spent too much time scrawling notes in the margins of his frayed copy of Infinite Jest. (wiki)
“The Minds of Men” is a 3+ year investigation into the experimentation, art, and practice of social engineering and mind control during the Cold War – a mind-bending journey into the past that gives startling insight into the world we are living in today.
Project MKUltra / The Human Use of Human Beings / Teleology / Cybernetics / Rockefeller Foundation / Bioelectronics / BSR / Sensory deprivation
As the world around us increases in technological complexity, our understanding of it diminishes. Underlying this trend is a single idea: the belief that our existence is understandable through computation, and more data is enough to help us build a better world.
In reality, we are lost in a sea of information, increasingly divided by fundamentalism, simplistic narratives, conspiracy theories, and post-factual politics. Meanwhile, those in power use our lack of understanding to further their own interests. Despite the apparent accessibility of information, we’re living in a new Dark Age.
From rogue financial systems to shopping algorithms, from artificial intelligence to state secrecy, we no longer understand how our world is governed or presented to us. The media is filled with unverifiable speculation, much of it generated by anonymous software, while companies dominate their employees through surveillance and the threat of automation.
In his brilliant new work, leading artist and writer James Bridle surveys the history of art, technology, and information systems, and reveals the dark clouds that gather over our dreams of the digital sublime. (VERSO)
“(…) perhaps the crash will look like a string of blockbuster movies pandering to right-wing conspiracies and survivalist fantasies, from quasi-fascist superheroes (Captain America and the Batman series) to justifications of torture and assassination (Zero Dark Thirty, American Sniper). In Hollywood, studios run their scripts through the neural networks of a company called Epagogix, a system trained on the unstated preferences of millions of moviegoers developed over decades in order to predict which lines will push the right – meaning the most lucrative – emotional buttons. Their algorithmic engines are enhanced with data from Netflix, Hulu, YouTube and others, whose access to the minute-by-minute preferences of millions of video watchers, combined with an obsessive focus on the acquisition and segmentation of data, provides them with a level of cognitive insight undreamed of by previous regimes. Feeding directly upon the frazzled, binge-watching desires of news-saturated consumers, the network turns upon itself, reflecting, reinforcing and heightening the paranoia inherent in the system.
Game developers enter endless cycles of updates and in-app purchases directed by A/B testing interfaces and real-time monitoring of players’ behaviours until they have such a finegrained grasp on dopamine-producing neural pathways that teenagers die of exhaustion in front of their computers, unable to tear themselves away. Entire cultural industries become feedback loops for an increasingly dominant narrative of fear and violence.”