Bodysong one movie you must see

Bodysong was directed by Simon Pummell. The similarities between it and DECASIA I mentioned above, so now for some differences: gone is the sharp minimalism of Gordon's score, and in comes an altogether more human (and humane) collage of musics from Jonny Greenwood of Radiohead. At last some colour and some undisturbed, and undeniably beautiful, footage. This film fits over 500 clips from every source imaginable into its 85 minutes. The theme is the human body, the ambitious objective is an overview of the human condition. While there is no narration, there is a narrative of sorts in that the film starts with sperm chasing an egg, getting in, cell division, embryos, and pretty quickly we get to see some births, growths, deaths and dreams. This is where the film takes off; the visceral, bloody, nauseating sight of dozens of babies popping out in quick succession lets you know that this is not a shy film. In fact it was passed by the BBFC uncensored, despite graphic sex (hetero and homo) and some horrific images of corpses and murders.

The power of this film lies in two areas: Greenwood's music is great and provides almost as wide a spectrum as is shown in the visuals, but more than that is the sheer numerical power of what you see. A furious kaleidoscope of humanity passes by - each tiny clip represents at least a whole human life and often so much more, it is difficult not to be overwhelmed. There are some famous clips: Man vs. Tank in Tiananmen Square, summary executions in Vietnam, nuclear bombs over Hiroshima, WWI trenches. These are shown in the same context as home videos of birthday parties, African rites of passage, peace marches, Jackson Pollock at work, jazz dancing, learning to speak and everything else you can imagine humans doing. The effect is wonderful, and provides as close to an objective overview of What Humans Do as possible. If aliens arrive, they should be shown this film immediately.

One person walked out of the cinema during this film, and he really did himself a disservice, though to see his action in the context of the film was amusing to me. The ending is a celebration of the trancendence of humanity away from the corporeal by means of art and dreams, and thus the counterpoint to DECASIA is fully established. During this film the horror of DECASIA evaporated, and was replaced by a feeling of being part of an amazing group of animals. I say "animals" with special reference to the scene of food relief being thrown to a chasing pack of hungry men.

Artistically this film is ambitious, and it will not surprise to learn that it was developed simultaneously as a film, a website and a gallery installation. It will appeal more strongly to mainstream audiences than DECASIA, and this appeal (and its fame) are greatly due to Greenwood's excellent work, though anyone who overlooks the amazing visual experience is reading less than half of the story.

Either of these films will provide many times its own length in thought for the inquisitive watcher, and their juxtaposition enhances both. I feel that my appreciation of cinema, and of humanity, has been altered by seeing these films and I cannot say that of many evenings at the cinema, nor could I honestly ask for more. Do yourself a favour and step away from the mainstream for a few hours.