Wednesday, 22 April 2015

MisinforMation

I suspect it was Peter Strickland's wonderful 5min short Box Hill (found on the Berberian Sound Studio BR/DVD) that inspired me to revisit the British Film Institute's 2012 film MisinforMation, a fascinating experimental compilation of films and fragments culled from the extensive archive of the Central Office of Information, and equipped with a new soundtrack supplied by the elusive electronic outfit Mordant Music. Some of these films will be familiar to a generation of English and Irish people who grew up in the 80's - I remember well the film about home security, a house invaded by thieving magpies - but re-contextualized in this collection, their original narrations replaced by thick, atmospheric drones, serrated electronics, and foggy distortion, the previously hidden experimental quality of these films begins to emerge. My favourite films in the collection are the landscape studies - Looking at Prehistoric Sites, a film about Britain's ancient spaces is transformed into something akin to Derek Jarman's Super 8 film A Journey to Avebury, while the extraordinary Sea in Their Blood, a 1983 short by Peter Greenaway looks less like one of the director's statistical obsessions and more like an alien report on a land shaped both physically and psychologically by the body of water that laps its edges. Hauntological and highly recommended.


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