CHRONICLES OF THE NEW HUMAN ORGANISM Image

Ian Haig’s Chronicles of the New Human Organism is an experimental, mondo-style documentary film of an almost hypnotic nature. While a disembodied voice walks you through different ideas about human evolution, new age science, aliens and more, the sometimes abstract imagery bubbles and burbles all around. The hypnotism comes from just relaxing into the experience and going along with the flow; if you’re not too careful, or actually listening to what is being said, you may find that you’ve got some puzzling ideas circulating in your subconscious afterward. Or maybe you wouldn’t notice; it is your subconscious, after all.

To me, this is the type of film that you put on a loop on a giant screen at some party, and just let it repeat and inoculate different people at different times, over and over again. I find it effective to catch a stray image or hear a random statement and react with a “wait, what was that” response, followed by more intense interest in what is going on. Meanwhile, again, you’ve been subconsciously taking it in the entire time.

To flip the coin over, this could easily be interpreted as an arty mess; a jumble of images and disjointed ideas that convey less an interesting message or cinematic experience than just a “oooh, this is close-up so it must be important” navel-gazing. In many ways, I think most experimental film, or art, can be interpreted that way, which is why it is most important, in scenarios such as these, to watch and think for yourself. I may’ve found some deeper meaning, or joy in pondering some of the ideas expressed, but I’m more than likely full of shit and, more often than not, the joke is played on me rather than the other way around. This could just be another instance.

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