If you happen to be going on an hallucinogenic drug binge any time in the near future I strongly recommend that you take the time out of your trip to watch the beautifully psychedelic British film/documentary/video collage that is Bodysong. Director Simon Pummell brought together clips of archive footage taken from the last 100 years of film and arranged them so as to illustrate the cycle of human life, all to a beautiful soundtrack that was composed by Jonny Greenwood of Radiohead (but more on him later). The film is devoid of dialogue, and this lack of explanation for some of the unusual scenes taking place really does bring attention to the absurdity of so many of the rituals that are so common place in societies throughout humanity. What struck me particularly was the footage of dancing, an act that is hard wired into the human sub-concious yet so incredibly different from culture to culture.
Watching the film I couldn’t help but think of the music and images that were sent in to space on the Voyager space crafts in the 1970’s in the hope of giving any extra-terrestrial life that may happen to come across them a brief insight in to our strange existence, and even to someone who lives on this planet, the scenes shown do look completely alien at times.
If you’ve been to our site before you will probably be aware that we are quite involved with art of the musical variety, and that’s the main reason I’ve written about this film to be honest, the soundtrack is absolutely incredible. Its an avant-garde blend of classical, jazz, rock and electronic musics, expertly morphed to create an intense atmosphere, that while sometimes sounding familiar is wonderfully unique. This was not Jonny Greenwood’s first or last musical outing outside of his work with Radiohead either, he has teamed up with film maker Paul Thomas Anderson to provide chilling soundtracks for both There Will Be Blood and The Master, and he even had one of his compositions used by Flying Lotus for his recent album ‘Until the Quiet Comes’. After his recent collaboration with Krzysztof Penderecki, he is quickly becoming one of the heavy weights of the British Classical scene, and in my opinion his experimentation and willingness to bring in sounds from other genres is exactly what it needs.