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Threshold Resolution Level  |  Richard Ducker

12 March 2022

©Copyright Patrick Morrissey and Clive Hancock  All rights reserved.


A private film screening by Richard Ducker

Hosted by Saturation Point

THRESHOLD RESOLUTION LEVEL is an episodic journey into one of capitalism’s most symbolic places of exchange – the shopping mall. Running concurrently throughout the film is a narration extracted from corporate management emails to staff. In their passive-aggressive tone they articulate the ‘Capitalist Realism’ of Orwellian bureaucratic doublespeak as a counter-narrative to the seductive visual language of display on screen.

The contemporary mall’s architectural style has evolved from postmodern vernacular to ‘non-place’ hi-tech modernism. Here, the vacant sublime of airport architecture provides the ideal backdrop to the surface veneer of consumerist display. This sequence begins with a series of stills that indulges in the language of these display techniques, while in the second part they are filmed as if from the flaneur’s point of view.

Interspersed throughout the film are short, sometimes absurd or failed attempts at identity through costume changes in what appears to be a photographic studio. Although more charity shop DIY aesthetic than sybaritic high street, these operate like ad breaks, disrupting the sequential flow.

In opposition to this highly constructed site of illusion and spectacle, a more primal, pre-linguistic drive is revealed through a vocal performance where the mouth utters without meaning, and the guitar grinds out an indeterminate image of the self. These passages of the film speak more of the Id that the mall both coaxes and conceals, leading to the gothic underworld of its utility tunnels that lie beneath the mall.

Now, as we live through these estranged and fractured times, it feels like a rupture in capitalist consumerism like we’ve not known for a generation, and so the film may already be a time capsule from a lost era.