Friday, July 17, 2009

groove [2000]

summer movies should be the kind that invoke a sort of mood. the usual mood for summer ennui is wasting time and if wasting time at the beach happens to be on your itinerary then so much the better because what is summer without a few bikinis and surfboards?

wasting time does not mean at all wasted time. we all need time away to do nothing. if one writes poetry then doing nothing might be the most productive time spent because doing nothing affords the mind to be at rest and work at the same time. doing nothing, both in summer and in the pursuit of creative work, is, in the words of poet/blogger adam fieled as he channels wordsworth in a recent post on isolation, a 'wise passivity'.

indeed it is. sometimes that passivity becomes an action and wants to do stuff. even watching a film, or reading a text, becomes a thing that wants to do stuff. often that stuff is reflexive that delights in the emotions. hence the summer movie that recalls a near nostalgia of real and imagined things.

such is the power of films: they can recreate a nostalgia that never existed in their viewers. i've never been part of the rave scene and by the time i became aware of it i was already ensconced in a fairly domesticated life. the only thing raves and me have in common is an admiration and appreciation of electronic music.

even so, this movie is a wonderful document of a scene that was probably dead already when it was released. i've seen it only once, on vhs, when anna and i first moved into our house. the movie itself is rather clunky and the characters are simply half-drawn. this flick becomes fucking bad-ass when the dj's are onscreen and the crowd is lushly photographed as they become a single, grooving organism.

it's not a bad film at all. the director, greg harrison, documents a culture intent on pleasure. the characters converge upon a single point, a night of music and drugs and self-discovery. if that self-discovery seems a bit forced for its characters to converge upon a shared rocking night it makes up for that lack when the dj's are onscreen and the movie comes alive. dig this clip of digweed as he spins the song 'heaven sent':

and see if that doesn't get the juices flowing. summer movies ain't always about the beach. sometimes they illuminate the need to become the moment and to experience those moments with a hit of e.


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