Images of War (at a Distance)Short Film | Harun Farocki By Jason Bogdaneris
X-rays of the culture.
Essayist filmmaker Harun Farocki is finally having his moment in the sun stateside after decades of provocative politically and socially-engaged filmmaking. Half the exhibit is simply an archive of his back catalogue accessible through personal headphones, while the rest of the space is devoted to his noisily obtrusive meditations on the modern nature of warfare. (These pieces are so invasive, perhaps by design, it's difficult to hear oneself think as the -simulated- bombs go off behind you.) Farocki's enormous body of work encompasses the breadth of human endeavor and perfidy, most famously taking to task those the men who create the men and machines of wars. His guiding approach is an attempt at exposing aspects of the culture that no one imagined were hidden. Farocki reveals the many layers beneath the surface of what makes up the finished product, whether it's a centerfold model, a missile or a surveillance video. I thought I was seeing convicts (2000) clarifies the prison-industrial complex through grainy footage...In Serious Games he portrays the dangerous abstraction of modern war into a virtual chess game, a thread that leads directly back to The Inextinguishable Fire (1969), a searing indictment of the dissociative military-industrial complex that justified napalm.