Better Living through Circuitry
History is hidden. Every cultural uprising is based on a certain amount of appropriation, mimicry, misunderstanding, and outright theft. Rave culture, for example, is based on specific moments and movements, as well as an ever-changing music whose very construction holds these tenets at heart. And so when a reductive documentary such as Better Living through Circuitry comes along, important things get omitted. Like the fact that current predominantly white, predominant straight rave culture owes, as much as anything, to the black gay disco scene in 1970s New York.
The film shoots a lot of famous musicians and DJs waxing alternately theoretical and poetic on their art form and the transformational power of dancing. But a sense of historical grounding is absent, which oversimplifies the phenomenon and does a discredit to its scattered but traceable roots.