Better Living Through Circuitry

"OK"

Better Living Through Circuitry Review


Rave culture is analyzed to death in the appropriately energetic but highly repetitive documentary "Better Living Through Circuitry."

An interesting array of interviews with movement leaders and high-profile DJs, mixed with kinetic dance floor footage and commentary from flashy, E-enraptured partiers, this picture undeniably captures the carefree spirit of these densely-packed, all-night, makeshift discos that spring up in remote deserts and empty warehouses then evaporate into urban legend with the rising of the next day's sun.

Dozens of notable underground music leaders sound off at great length in the film -- from Carl Cox, an effeminate, flamboyant, aging English musical innovator who influenced the birth of acid house, to The Crystal Method, arguably the highest profile mix DJs on Earth, who despite their success still put together their highly recognizable Big Beat mixes in an illegally converted two car garage/studio in suburban L.A.

But outside of recounting how they got their starts as DJs (a surprising number of them had dead fathers who left big record collections), most of the interviewees say the same thing over and over and over again: Raves are ephemeral, high-energy love-ins with a cheerful, familial atmosphere that -- along with copious amounts of Ecstasy and other forms of chemical inhibition -- make the youthful, unbridled, open-armed and open-minded attendees blissfully happy.

The pulse-pounding music is irresistible. I seriously wanted to get up in the aisle and dance my ass off during this flick. The essence of the rave culture -- what some see as the flowering of a techno-hippie spirituality -- is bottled for cinematic consumption by director Jon Reiss in an appropriately seat-of-the-pants, 16mm style.

He quite easily portrays the artistic genius of the DJs, who create kinetic, overflowing ebbs of nonstop electronica by spontaneously mixing dance records together to bring forth inventive new compositions that drive seas of partiers to frenzy. He gets across the pure, escapist joy these fly-by-night fetes inspire in their attendees. He pays respectable lip service to this underground movement's detractors (cops and drug counselors) and for comic relief includes television news footage that depicts raves as tantamount to drug-crazed roman orgies ("Reefer Madness" flashbacks, anyone?).

But since just about every person interviewed -- from random, ebullient, cute chick ravers in glitter makeup, baby-Ts and Teletubby backpacks to uber-hip record-spinners to geeky wannabes -- eventually says pretty much the same thing, "Circuitry" wears thin after a while.

Seeing this documentary, you'll understand the ingenuous rapture of rave culture. You may even want to be a part of it if you're not already (it sure made me want to party).

But the movie could have been trimmed by 15, 20 or even 30 minutes and been virtually unchanged, so the already short 88 minute run time feels gratingly redundant.



Better Living Through Circuitry

Facts and Figures

Run time: 85 mins

In Theaters: Saturday 14th August 1999

Distributed by: Seventh Art Releasing

Reviews

Contactmusic.com: 2.5 / 5

Rotten Tomatoes: 81%
Fresh: 13 Rotten: 3

IMDB: 7.1 / 10

Cast & Crew

Director:

Also starring:

Contactmusic


Links



Advertisement

New Movies

The BFG Movie Review

The BFG Movie Review

For his adaptation of the Roald Dahl classic, Steven Spielberg reunited with screenwriter Melissa Mathison,...

Finding Dory Movie Review

Finding Dory Movie Review

It's been 13 years since the release of the Disney/Pixar hit Finding Nemo, and filmmaker...

Star Trek Beyond Movie Review

Star Trek Beyond Movie Review

This is where the Star Trek franchise officially shifts from thoughtful drama into thunderous action....

Ice Age: Collision Course Movie Review

Ice Age: Collision Course Movie Review

With its fifth feature-length adventure, this franchise continues its preposterous journey at full tilt. As...

Keanu Movie Review

Keanu Movie Review

An entertaining hybrid of satirical comedy and action thriller, this madcap adventure swerves wildly between...

Ghostbusters Movie Review

Ghostbusters Movie Review

It's been more than 30 years since the Ghostbusters first hit the big screen with...

Now You See Me 2 Movie Review

Now You See Me 2 Movie Review

While the original 2013 magical caper was a big hit, it's style-over-substance approach didn't exactly...

Advertisement
The Legend of Tarzan Movie Review

The Legend of Tarzan Movie Review

It's been nearly 30 years since the last live-action Tarzan movie, and yet it still...

Maggie's Plan Movie Review

Maggie's Plan Movie Review

A New York comedy with vivid characters and a contrived plot, this feels rather a...

Absolutely Fabulous: The Movie Movie Review

Absolutely Fabulous: The Movie Movie Review

Nearly 25 years after the sitcom debuted, Edina and Patsy arrive on the big screen...

Central Intelligence Movie Review

Central Intelligence Movie Review

After teaming up with Will Ferrell for Get Hard and Ice Cube for two Ride...

The Colony [Colonia] Movie Review

The Colony [Colonia] Movie Review

Based on a true story, this Chilean drama has a chilling edge to it that's...

Independence Day: Resurgence Movie Review

Independence Day: Resurgence Movie Review

Two decades is a long time to wait for a sequel, especially one starring much...

Elvis & Nixon Movie Review

Elvis & Nixon Movie Review

This movie is based on a real meeting between Elvis Presley and Richard Nixon in...

Advertisement
Artists
Actors
    Filmmakers
      Artists
      Bands
        Musicians
          Artists
          Celebrities
             
              Artists
              Interviews
                musicians & bands in the news
                  actors & filmmakers in the news
                    celebrities in the news

                      Go Back in Time using our News archive to see what happened on a particular day in the past.