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rampart events this week

rampart | 30.08.2004 16:07 | Culture | Free Spaces | London

Events at the rampART this coming week...
(15-17 Rampart Street, London E1 2LA (off commercial rd))

= Aug 30th, Monday 6pm

Weekly organising meeting. Get involved.

= Aug 31st, Tuesday Video activism gathering/workshop

From 7pm. Now a regular slot for the weekly video activism/film making gathering/workshop.

= Sept 1st, Wednesday night free community cinema

from 8pm till late

D R U G G E D U P N I G H T - featuring:

* main feature 'Equilibrium' 2002 [~90 mins ]
* plus 'The Most Dangerous Game' GNN [8 min]
* along with various other shorts...
* additionally, maybe, Stepford Wifes or Prozac Nation, if we can get either in time

Food and drink available - but no drugs.
Plus, if people are up for it, a discussion about social control and drugs.

-- The Most Dangerous Game (Guerilla News Network (GNN)).

Cut to the pulsing hypnotica of Mitchell Akiyama, this film traces the history of top-secret CIA mind control operation MK-ULTRA: from the covert importation of NAZI scientists at the end of WWII, to the illegal brainwashing experiments conducted on the patients of world famous psychiatric researcher, Dr. Ewen Cameron.

-- Equilibrium (also known as Librium)
(2002. Directed by Kurt Wimmer. Starring Dominic Purcell, Emily Watson and Christian Bale)

Okay, here another love it or hate it film. Equilibrium is set in the near future, after two thirds of the human race has been wipped out in World War III. The survivers form a society that aims to avoid the mistakes of the past by removing the cause of all mans inhumanity - which they have somehow identified as being human emotion.

A regular dose of drugs ensures that everyones feelings are supressed. Overseen by 'the father' this paternal utopia requires the iron fist of a police state to guarentee everyones 'freedom'. The 'clerics', highly trained martial arts experts, are resposible with enforcing compliance by seeking out 'sense offenders' and obliterating any resistance.

Equilibrium received what is probably best described as 'a real kicking' from the critics upon its cinema release. The principal problem is that the central concept is unfilmable. No characters displaying any emotion at any point? Might work in a book, but on film it just won't fly. Within minutes, you'll be itching to pick it apart. Why did that character just applaud? Why did that character just raise their voice? If you can actually get past this problem.

While the cinematography borrows heavily from the Matrix, the story line has been ripped off from Fahrenheit 451, alongside elements of 1984 and Brave New World. Orwellian throughout the paternal themes, with strong references to the soviet "republics" under Stalin; Germany, Austria, Italy under Hitler; Mussolini's fascisti and Spain under Franco - all places having experienced times when the "party" or "father" had power over every aspect of their lives.

Beyond the overarching theme of totalitarianism or its fast paced 'Matrix like' action scenes, there is also the underlying theme concerning "waging peace." The authorities wage their own war, creating their own chaos, creating the very emotions they sought to banish so doggedly. Much the same as modern day superpowers and even mid-17th to 19th century powers did, they 'wage peace' by terrorism, exercising pure physical might and crushing anything other than 'acceptable' forms of living. One might draw the conclusion that this underlying theme is directed at US intervention throughout the world, keeping us "safe" from the evil doers.

If you like action movies - you'll get what you want - if not, it will require you to suspensed belief on the level of a kung fu movie to appreciate the rest of the film. While there is nothing orginal about the film, it does raise some interesting issues which I have barely touched on here in this review. Some people love it, some people hate it. You'll have to judge for yourself.

= Sept 3rd - Friday Evening Anti-Copyright Cinema from 8pm
Free premiere of SUPERSIZE ME! plus McLibel Twos Worlds Collide and more. With food (do you want fries with that) and jam session (bring instruments if you play).

= Sept 4th - Saturday night benfit gig with Gertrude, God Like Animals and The Rub

On the 4th September, the rampART hosts it's first gig with three acts booked so far. The line up included the funky sounds of our resident 'God Like Animals', the hard hitting political rap of 'The Rub' and the punky all grrl 'Gertrude' (post punk with cello, clarinet and melodica) to rock you into the night. Also expect some mind jarring visuals and videos.

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  1. something like this in manchester anyone? — tigerbee