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BETTER LIVING THROUGH CIRCUITRY

SYNOPSIS:
In this look at the rave subculture that has developed with the increasing popularity of electronic dance music, director John Reiss combines footage of rave parties and DJ performances with interviews conducted with fans, promoters, designers and some of the biggest names in the underground industry, including DJ Spooky, The Crystal Method, Roni Size and Moby.

"I’m typing this review on a computer loaded with sequencing software and patched to a rack of digital audio processors. I’m no tech-head, but as a dilettante songwriter/musician I cherish the creative freedom afforded by technology. Doesn’t mean I’m a fan of electronic dance music though. Rave culture is booming (literally, at low frequencies and high decibels), but unlike this eighty-four minute advertisement posing as a documentary would have you believe, it’s a fad not a revolution. From waltzes to rumbas, the symbiosis of rhythm and dance has long been cherished in a myriad of forms. Few have been as limited in their emotional sweep as the metronomic sonic electronics showcased here by filmmaker Reiss. Aficionados might appreciate the subtle distinctions of Techno, Trance and Drum-and-Bass but as Hermann Hesse’s Immortal Mozart says in Steppenwolf: ‘Contrasts, seen from a little distance, always tend to show their increasing similarity.’ Those into the ‘scene’ should enjoy the performance footage but unless you’re unaware that the subculture’s raison d’etre lies in a synergy of tribalistic frisson, hypnotic beats and mind-altering pharmaceuticals, nothing of interest is revealed in the interviews. If you’re that far removed, you’re unlikely to find this an entertaining mode of enlightenment. As a defence of rave culture, it’s most likely preaching to the converted. Aptly, all footage is shot on a mobile digital camera and post-produced in Reiss’s apartment. It looks good, and the editing’s brisk, but there’s a distinct lack of substance (though no lack of substance abuse). Undiscerning, unbridled creativity is one thing, the delusion that it delivers enduring art is another. For mine, the best music produces paroxysms of ecstasy, without the need to drop any."
Brad Green

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BETTER LIVING THROUGH CIRCUITRY (M)
(US)

DOCUMENTARY

WITH: Jason Bentley, Phillip Blaine, Frankie Bones, Lord T. Byron, DJ Chrisbo, Carl Cox, Jack Dangers

DIRECTOR: Jon Reiss

PRODUCER: Brian McNelis, Stuart Swezey

CINEMATOGRAPHER: Lee Abbot, Michael Bratkowski, Steve Janas, Jon Reiss, Byron Shah, Stacey Tisdall

EDITOR: Erik Zimmermann

MUSIC SUPERVISOR: Cary Berger, P.J. Bloom

RUNNING TIME: 85 minutes

AUSTRALIAN DISTRIBUTOR: Retrieve

AUSTRALIAN RELEASE: August 8 in Perth; August 15, 2000 in Brisbane; August 16 in Adelaide; August 26 in Sydney; tba in Melbourne.







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