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The Floppy Shall Rise

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Emerson Dameron picks at Offbeat: Thirteen Music Based minimum.movies, a DVD collection of short films that fit on 3.5" floppy disks.

The Floppy Shall Rise

This comp is a lot of things. Itís the Berlin-based filmmaking co-op 89mm_minimum.moviesís attempt to bring short film Ė a format traditionally confined to urban festivals Ė into any welcoming home. Itís a showcase of fanciful music videos for some blasphemously catchy techno-pop. Itís dramatically uneven; itís sporadically fascinating.

Thereís computer animation: Jorg Ritterís Pop Goes the Machine, a sleeker version of whatís running laps in your skull right now as you process the phrase ďcomputer animation.Ē There are featurettes with distinct plot structures: Johannes Ebertís gingerly corny I Miss You 03, Lars Oeschlerís melancholy toon Bravo! KTA-3000 and Michael Nwasserís fashionable riddle Reloop. Thereís pulsating collage: Michael Spohnís rudimentary Untitled and Tai Elshorstís haunting smokestack vehicle Blick. And thereís puppetry: violence and assfucking on loan from Rimbaud (Astrid Riegerís Chason de la Plus Haute Tour) and bellydancing rabbit passion in the dry lands (Sabine Rollnik and Eva Kietzmannís acidly cute Habibi.)

Thereís a ton going on. And almost none of it is as pretentious as it could perhaps get away with, or as the kickoff Ė Marcus Diningís White Trucks, which attempts to illustrate a frustrating Bill Burroughs ramble Ė might lead you to fear. 89mmís bits and pieces may be more artistically ambitious than the shit on M2, but they also have more fun. Habibi Ė hell, the uncoiling gummy worm alone Ė has more fun than most no-budget collegiate filmmakers, too.

I have no clue where most of this music hails from (Iíve heard _of_ Zorn (not John, right?)), but itís a fine gathering of novel Euroditties. ďHabibi,Ē some witty Fisher-Price hip hop from Angie Reed, is the clear hit single, but Sergej Autoís amazing backdrop for Bravo KTA-3000 is neo-disco good enough for the goddamn Pet Shop Boys. Any of this stuff would annoy most rockers to conniptions in album-length doses, but itís swell to have it all in one place, like a Whitmanís Sampler; you can sidestep nausea by picking around.

The 3.5Ē floppy disk holds 4:30 minutes of movie, and thatís 89mm weapon of choice. They drop off their projects in bars, coffeehouses and mailboxes. Theyíre struggling to preserve the medium. If youíre in the growing faction of computer users without a floppy drive, this might be enough to send you to Double Dís Hot Electronics.


By Emerson Dameron

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