Feb 19, 2013

A CZY MY TO JACY TACY: Are We Cool or What...?

Dan Erdman


The main action of this film is intercut throughout with photographs
from magazines - mainly advertising, youth-oriented publications and
quasi-pornography; the opening minutes consist of almost nothing else.
The protagonist of the film adds some ingredients to a bottle of
(presumably) spirits. Later, he mixes a drink and serves one to a
young woman who has joined him in his apartment. Despite her presence,
they continue to be absorbed in the various magazines scattered about
his place. Consumer consciousness appears to wholly pervade their
experiential worlds; a sequence of the young woman lighting a
cigarette and taking a drag is intercut with images from cigarette
ads, as if to suggest the way in which reality and representation have
become fatally enmeshed. When, moved seemingly less by passion than by
a sense of duty to convention, they to begin to disrobe, the man
appears more interested in the labels on his mate's shed garments than
in what lies beneath. Her post-coital departure may be interpreted as
a sign of disappointment in the mediated world, as she pointedly steps
on the advertisments lining the floor on her way out. He, meanwhile,
crosses the apartment courtyard to his bicycle; briefly but noticably
impressed by a neighbor's Trabant, he rides away on his bike, only to
be stymied by a flat tire.

The film's rhetoric appears to be preoccupied with sending up the
influence of mass culture on the intimate lives of average citizens,
suggesting visual echoes of advertising layouts in the behavior of
characters. This is the main device by which such parallels are drawn;
there is no sync sound, depriving the film of hammering the point home
with dialogue. The vaguely psychedelic music suggests the general
influence of mass culture without obviously commenting on it one way
or another. What plot structure exists is really too simple to develop
the theme through narrative. Rather than a fully developed climax, as
one might expect in a lightly polemical film such as this, the
protagonists, left with no other reason to hang around with each
other, get bored and go home. Such and understated conclusion is
probably more appropriate to the theme than something more
self-consciously dramatic or ironic.

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