I remember watching Beetlejuice with my aunt when I was 4 or 5 years old. I was thrilled beyond belief, loving the goofy, yet grotesque world of both the dead and the living. My aunt however, was scared. I turned to her, “It’s only a movie”.
I certainly believe that I have been very desensitized to films as my parents took me to see such horrific films such as Total Recall and Look Who’s Talking when I was so young. They even took me to see Howard Stern’s Private Parts when I was 12 because my brother was interested in becoming a radio personality (and now he is). While Private Parts is of course an auto-biopic, that film and the other films I mentioned are relatively adult for a 4 or 5 year old.
I’m now 25 years old, and I often find myself telling people the same thing when they see movies. Yet I hesitate to agree with myself. Movies are not always just movies. Cinema can be, and often is art. Cinema is a language. Film can change who we are, who we want to be. Those films never made me want to replicate their scenes, and I learned at an early age that movies were a magical experience, and later that they were an artful experience.
Cinema was designed to be the inevitable mechanical reproduction of life. Over a century later, life now replicates what we see in movies, far more than movies replicating our lives. Below is an interesting short video:
I StumbledUpon this video by Adam Cosco, whom I was unable to be certain that this is his IMDB page. His video, titled “The Most Basic Form of Mind Control is Repetition” is a ten minute video that weaves some of the most important psychological thrillers in the blockbuster era into a narrative essay. The essay discusses how we can develop psychosis simply by watching films. Much like how Alfred Hitchcock made us terrified of the shower, one of the most intimate places for a person; Spielberg enticed us to fear the beaches with Jaws. This multi-layered video will leave you confused and gasping for air after this mind fuck.
Cosco’s video essay uses the films Jaws, The Game, Videodrome, Fight Club, Zodiac, and a variety of other clips to show how our perception of how media changes us and can provoke us through the glorification of horror and crime. This video is superbly edited and narrated to not only pose a question, but to create a narrative.
It was 8:27 on a Sunday afternoon when Peter’s mind exploded…
The film ends discussing how media, particularly film, can prompt one to replicate what they see and uses the example of the 9/11 Terrorist Attacks. If you have not seen the film Loose Change, it is essentially a documentary that argues that the attacks were organized by the American government. Cosco refers to the pilot episode of the X-Files spin-off series The Lone Gunmen which is about a government conspiracy to hijack an airliner and fly it into the World Trade Center. This pilot episode premiered on March 4, 2001. Movies are not, always just movies.
While I certainly take documentaries about such conspiracies like Loose Change with a grain of salt, there are times in which people are inspired by films to commit horrible crimes.
Mozart’s “Overture to The Magic Flute” is played over and over in this short video, increasing in pace until the short film’s eventual ending. It is my understanding that Mozart was a Freemason and “The Magic Flute” has many Masonic symbols and imagery. The founding of the American government as well as many important American symbols borrow from masonry. Is this film trying to convey that the possible conspiracy of the American government’s role in the 9/11 attacks had Freemason intentions?
Cosco rounds out his narrative with Peter by explaining that Peter’s mind is blown at 8:27 in the video when a serious of explosions occurs. The video then examines a specific scene in Zodiac which is about the Zodiac serial killer in the 1960s and 1970s in San Francisco. “The Most Basic Form of Mind Control is Repetition” uses clips that explain that the killer saw the film The Most Dangerous Game in theaters nine weeks prior to the first recognized Zodiac murder.
I’ve seen “The Most Basic Form of Mind Control is Repetition” several times now, even repeating the small sequences to truly figure out Cosco is trying to say. While the images and narration guide us to a epiphany, you can’t ignore the quick, subliminal messages in white text over black. The messages appear in the following order: Me, Me, God, Love, Happiness, Family, Country, “Orgasm” appears on a television screen, Submission, Happiness, Help, Kill, Yourself, Father, Enemy, Liar, Country, Orgasm, Invite, Only, Hero, and the letter “M” is spoken by the narrator in the last sequence which corresponds to the image that the protagonist and Maria make when holding hands. Don’t be fooled, these captions are junk. Trash. Throw them out. They are there to confuse you.
Earlier in this short film, the Narrator explains that directors are apart of an elite class of artists, often working together (i.e. Speilberg, Lucas, Scorsese) to further their careers and their art. Much like Freemasons. It is my belief that Cosco is trying to explain that directors are some of the most powerful people in the world, they have power to change minds. The narrative about Peter discusses that Peter learns that directors can change people with their films. As viewers of their work, we may in fact be subconsciously living their dreams. But we have dismissed any notions of being individual sleeper-cells with the notion that these films are only movies.
Okay, I’m exhausted trying to figure out what “The Most Basic Form of Mind Control is Repetition” is truly about. Regardless, it is a wonderfully produced short film that is imaginatively creepy. If this short video says anything, it justifies the fact the cinema is the most powerful medium ever.