Better Living Through Circuitry | Chicago Reader

Better Living Through Circuitry

85 minutes

Jon Reiss, who's created music videos for Nine Inch Nails, assembled this 1999 guide to the techno/rave scene. Interviews with rave culturati from both sides of the Atlantic—DJ Spooky, Roni Size, Moby, Kraftwerk's Wolfgang Flür, and the bands Electric Skychurch and Crystal Method—stress techno's delirious tribalism, which is illustrated by scenes of revelers gyrating in industrial warehouses and in the California desert. Reiss also gives ample screen time to fans and nonperforming scenesters, from rabid promoters to people who design flyers, and neither the infomercial moments (gee whiz, even the Dalai Lama endorses the "spirituality" of raves) nor the extended antidrug message can cheapen their conspiratorial passion. True to the spirit of techno, the whole thing was filmed on a Sony digicam, cheaply edited on a Power Mac, and then blown up to 35-millimeter; it's as slick as anything you might find on the Discovery Channel, and the snippets of 3-D computer animation are too cool for words.

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