Decoder

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Decoder
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Decoder says
(Muscha, West Germany, 1984, DCP, 87 min, in German, Portuguese, and English with English subtitles)

Thursday, Jul 21 at 09:15PM

Culled from the themes and writings of William S. Burroughs, legendary German cult film Decoder explores techno-fear, dystopian power, mass control and resistance. Examining the science of Muzak as a musical tranquilizer used to calm the masses in public spaces, Muscha’s film follows a young punk FM (played by Einstürzende Neubauten’s F. M. Einheit) and sound enthusiast as he decodes this music and discovers that it is a brain poison. His sonic experiments lead to the creation of an antidote he uses, along with urban pirates, to create a series of tape-terror disruptions. Powerful corporations enlist a shadowy agent to stop the anti-Muzak movement. The subcultural ideas and aesthetics of the early 1980s in Berlin and beyond explode in Decoder - which had its Seattle premiere in 1986 - and its insight resonates today. Featuring William S. Burroughs, Christiane F., F. M. Einheit and a stellar soundtrack.

“Decoder presents a uniquely political interpretation of Burroughs’s work, and directly attributes the narrative’s central corners to his tape-recorder experiments. He only appears for a short time, yet he remains a powerful figure clearly present in the margins of the text.” -- Jack Sargeant, Naked Lens
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By: Northwest Film Forum