Tuesday, November 29, 2005

Media of the People

"Everything written today unveils either the possibility or the impossibility of reading and rewriting history. This possibility is evident in the literature heralded by the writing of a new generation, where the text is elaborated as theatre and as reading."
Julia Kristeva "Word Dialogue Novel" (1986:56)

Koulamata has made a machinima film based around the French riots this Autumn. This is the first film I have seen made using The Movies game by Activision. Interesting, I wonder if this will be the fanzine, handbill, political flyer of the future.

The French Democracy is set in a mediated state where information flows into the living rooms, through the internet and out of the mobile phones as "colored youth" struggle to survive in a society that seems to be trying to preserve a culture that no longer actually exists. Those of non-euro appearance are surrounded by identity checks, images of wealth while living in poverty, employment impossibility and racism (being referred to as "a monkey" make things somewhat difficult).One character states "it is impossible to live in such society". Drugs are an alternative that result in further violence and an opportunity for the police to take control and punish an individual. Computer and telephone networks are used by characters to organize violence against a faceless oppressor (represented on the street by the police). The riots are senseless and without any goal or direction. Those that benefit from the violence are those that wish to exercise further control over the "badboy" youth, who supply the media image of terror and anarchy for those worried citizens who vote for the oppressive regime. It ends with the myth of Freedom, Equality Fraternity now translated as Misery, Lies and Misunderstanding.

Obviously it is a statement. It is a moderately good film. It reminds me in many ways of a 3D animated flyer handed out by an anarchist/socialist activist in a public place. The issues are real and many of the points made in the film are very relevant. As a non-euro myself living in "The Europe" I see a lot of what is represented in the film, although not on such an extreme scale. It is the first piece of realist political machinima I have seen. This is something I believe we will see more of. As the review on Boing Boing says "it's also a stirring piece of political filmmaking, created using a $50 piece of software intended to enable its users to become one-person animation auteurs." The media revolution continues.........

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