Here are four video recordings of concerts by one of my favorite 1980s post-punk bands, The Chameleons. I sometimes describe them as existing somewhere between Joy Division, The Cure, and The Smiths; they were also a large influence on Interpol.
1. The Hacienda, Manchester (1982, 31 min)
Part 1: The Post-Punk Revival
Part 2: Post-Punk
Part 3: No Wave
Part 4: New Wave (UK)
Part 5: New Wave (US)
This is the start of an ongoing series, in which I’ll examine two long-running interests of mine: 1) the concept of the art movement (and related issues like “scenes” and “the zeitgeist”), and 2) how the culture-at-large is not all that homogeneous, but rather braided together from numerous different subcultures, each following their own individual traditions, which sometimes overlap with one another, but often don’t.
Since we have to start somewhere, let’s start with Interpol, as they have a new record out (but let’s look at an earlier song and video, since no one seems to like the new stuff):
“Obstacle 1,” 2002, directed by Floria Sigismondi
Interpol formed in 1997, and became widely known when its members signed to Matador in 2002. Since then, the band’s been associated with the “post-punk revival” (PPR) of the early 2000s, its fellow travelers being bands like Bloc Party, Franz Ferdinand, The Killers, and The Strokes.
But how similar is Interpol, actually, to those other bands?
Note: This post is partly a reply to a question someone asked me, back-channel, about slow motion, but also partly due to my general interest in how time works in narrative, and in brevity and stasis (and “the ongoing”).
Slow motion is created by presenting film footage at a slower rate than it was shot at. The principle is as old as cinema itself. In 1879, Eadweard Muybridge invented the zoopraxiscope, which allowed him to project his 1870s photographic motion studies as animations. (Film projection is, interestingly, older than film-capture cameras.) It was observed immediately that repeating the photos 2:1 (double-printing), or spinning the zoopraxiscope slowly, would slow the motion down.
An aside: In conducting his motion studies, Muybridge lined up multiple cameras that were activated by tripwires. (The motion picture camera wouldn’t be invented until 1890.) This same technique would later be resurrected as “Time-Slice” or “Bullet-Time,” popularized by the Wachowskis in The Matrix.
After the jump I’ve arranged a partial history of slow motion in cinema. It isn’t intended to be an exhaustive list; rather, I’ll point out what I consider memorable or otherwise significant uses of slow motion.