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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. It’s the Berlin-based filmmaking co-op 89mm_minimum.movies’s attempt to bring short film – a format traditionally confined to urban festivals – into any welcoming home. It’s a showcase of fanciful music videos for some blasphemously catchy techno-pop. It’s dramatically uneven; it’s sporadically fascinating.

There’s computer animation: Jorg Ritter’s Pop Goes the Machine, a sleeker version of what’s running laps in your skull right now as you process the phrase “computer animation.” There are featurettes with distinct plot structures: Johannes Ebert’s gingerly corny I Miss You 03, Lars Oeschler’s melancholy toon Bravo! KTA-3000 and Michael Nwasser’s fashionable riddle Reloop. There’s pulsating collage: Michael Spohn’s rudimentary Untitled and Tai Elshorst’s haunting smokestack vehicle Blick. And there’s puppetry: violence and assfucking on loan from Rimbaud (Astrid Rieger’s Chason de la Plus Haute Tour) and bellydancing rabbit passion in the dry lands (Sabine Rollnik and Eva Kietzmann’s acidly cute Habibi.)

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

I have no clue where most of this music hails from (I’ve heard _of_ Zorn (not John, right?)), but it’s a fine gathering of novel Euroditties. “Habibi,” some witty Fisher-Price hip hop from Angie Reed, is the clear hit single, but Sergej Auto’s 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 it’s swell to have it all in one place, like a Whitman’s Sampler; you can sidestep nausea by picking around.

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


By Emerson Dameron

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