'Houdini's greatest trick was to make an elephant disappear. It was also his greatest flop. The illusion was so grand that the audience did not believe it. Sometimes, revelations can be too profound' Jim Steinmeyer
'The world can be served up proof, and it can be strong and true, and we still do not believe. Our positions are already too set.' OshiA documentary,then, at number one. I know, I know. But Brown student Daniel Goldstein's shaky cameraphone epic railed and rattled with such journalistic urgency that to not acknowledge it would be to prove some kind of peverse point. The informations contained herein are too Earth-shattering to ignore.
To begin with: Goldstein reveals the Wizards of the West Supermairgh, a select collection of alchemists whose magical powers died on the day that their special word of invocation, 'Shazam!' was found drowned in an East London canal in 1954. Foul play was suspected. Various theories link many to the crime (the Hells Angels, PLO, CIA, Soviet Union and international crime syndicates are named in the film), but who on Earth stands to gain? For with the death of 'Shazam!', man can no longer harness the tumultuous natural powers of the planet. Since the word was murdered, no human being is able to pronounce the word correctly- it comes out as
'Shuh-zaim!' rather than the now throaty gargling-iron-filings effort of yore) which has had dire consequences- human kind now finds it impossible to harness the Earth's hormones, and subsequently, grave sicknesses, such as global warming and AIDS (both with germinations circa 1954) have grown exponentially. The film looks at the botched inquest and subsequent cover-up by the Western governments, their sham-shazam wizards (fogging the lens of scepticism on prime-time television), and how rock'n'roll was invented, a charade of rebellion, to turn our heads like Christmas bells of jaunty distraction. There were other glistening lies, making truths (warlocks mourn death of a word/ A word drowns/ NATO invented rock'n'roll etc) seem preposterous. The veracity of an audience's belief almost managed to put shazam through a hall of mirrors, conjuring an infected appearance of magic. 'The US government is a placebo now' says government stooge W.Axl Rose in the film. 'I'm not even sure of the people in charge know that they are in charge. Their belief is that if you seem like a saviour, then you probably are. The world believed I was the singer in a dangerous rock band, and so I probably was.... and so 'Use Your Illusion' becomes a guiding principle really... you know, if magic is dead.'
A symphony of conspiracies so great is revealed that the viewer cannot hear, so loud is the clamour of truth.We hear about how the lido, a children's runaway haven, is the only place in Mexico City free from wrath of a corporation named Zodiac; How those that have earlobes and those that can roll their R's are in league, whether they know it or not. The journey ends in Copenhagen, as gamblers cross their fingers. The only solution? Dreamfarms in Indonesia, in which pubescent children sleep in large factories ('sweetshops') and their dreams are taken and used as fuel to fog the lens of the Western world, their kneebones used to tighten the screws of our ignorance.
... and JFK was shot by Lee Harvey Oswald, but there was no conspiracy; Oswald acted alone, spurred on by the liquid Satanic undercurrents that swept the Earth in the wake of the death of Shazam!... and a real sadness is that Shazam! is not remembered, but that a tired parody of the word is served to the world as a comic book story, for children and deflated adults in capes.
'Makes Michael Moore look like a rabble-rouser reading from an old script' The Guardian
'Shazam! shows us... the insipid tendrils of hope only drain the kitchen of its mess for a second, until the oppressive mess returns. Pernicious mummies of the state seek to hide the fact that they are hiding the fact that they are hiding the fact that there is in fact a malady of the sages, and humankind's fate, until the mid 20th Century tethered to its own regenerative abilities, now swings on its last life, unknowingly. Various new man-made tragedies serve as smokescreens, now that audio-visual arts have themselves lost a pull: black presidents, failing economies.' Noam Chomsky'I totally loved the bit about that kid in Gaza or wherever who totally unplugged the world's electricity by lifting that watch battery that was wedged between two paving stones. He was hella cute, for a kid.' TMZ.com
'And to think! Our musical heroes were nothing more than juvenile indulgers and serial pederasts! Supported, no less, by a State who recognises the need for acceptable rebellion. Sickened, I burned my records. Including the ones I made. Especially the ones I made' Little Steven