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November 3rd, 2004 Christopher Luna | DVD & TV
 

Disinformation on DVD

     
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Since the 1990s, Disinfo.com has served as a clearinghouse for information on conspiracy theory, UFOs, the counterculture and the occult. "Dossiers" filled with hyperlinks provide everything you might want to know about subjects such as Philip K. Dick, Aleister Crowley or the CIA's involvement in drug trafficking in Southeast Asia. Recently Disinfo.com has become more interactive, inviting visitors to suggest and create content for the site. The Disinformation Company has also published a series of provocative and informative books, and has begun producing DVDs.

Robert-Adrian Pejo's documentary R.I.P. Rest in Pieces: A Portrait of Joe Coleman delves into the psyche of this prolific painter and performance artist. Each of Coleman's paintings features a multitude of disturbing scenes rendered in minute detail and accompanied by text. Much of the film takes place in Coleman's studio, which he calls the Odditorium, a museum-worthy collection of morbid curiosities including Junior, a dead baby in a jar that Coleman has adopted and regards as his son.

Coleman views humankind as a "cancer" that nature must combat through hate and violence. Through a series of interviews and dramatizations, the artist is revealed to be a true Catholic who empathizes with the fear, desire and guilt of serial killers such as Ed Gein. This identification is coupled with derision for the spiritual corruption of the so-called normal folks who deny these aspects of their own personalities. Despite the gruesome subject matter that pervades his work, Coleman claims to be more interested in achieving "the intensity of emotion that's required for catharsis" than in shocking people. The film includes footage of Coleman's public performances, in which he detonates explosives strapped to his chest and bites the heads off of live mice. We also learn about Coleman's parents and his personal relationships.

Coleman appears on both of the discs included in Disinformation: The Complete Series, a newsmagazine show unlike any other. First broadcast in censored form on British television, the series was picked up by the Sci-Fi Channel but was never aired in this country. The first episode features segments on Coleman, straight males' interest in transsexual porn, outsider musicians, and Brice Taylor, a woman who claims to have been a mind-controlled sex slave who was farmed out to American celebrities and heads of state since childhood. Other episodes feature stories on extreme pornography and the Montauk Project, as well as recurring segments with Brother Theodore and Uncle Goddamn, an unbelievably cruel and stupid underground video. Host Richard Metzger introduces even the most bizarre stories with a straight face, and his pre-commercial teasers ("What did this man do to a can of creamed corn?") are hilarious. The second disc features highlights from Disinfo.Con, a convention that took place in early 2000 and featured an array of fascinating speakers including Marilyn Manson, filmmaker Kenneth Anger, author Robert Anton Wilson and comic-book artist Grant Morrison.

 
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