A video opera that profiles three major technological events of the 20th century: the explosion of the Hindenburg, the atomic test at Bikini Atoll, and the cloning of Dolly the sheep.

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Richard Dawkins ...
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Kevin Warwick ...
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A video opera that profiles three major technological events of the 20th century: the explosion of the Hindenburg, the atomic test at Bikini Atoll, and the cloning of Dolly the sheep.

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based on opera | See All (1) »

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16 October 2003 (USA)  »

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unique, while frightening and sterile
24 May 2004 | by (Illinois) – See all my reviews

This documentary opera looks at the dangers of technological development through the twentieth century. "Progress" is viewed as a selfish and destructive phenomenon. Music of Steve Reich accompanies the entire film, and the interviews used in the movie are rhythmically incorporated into the music. This is a very interesting effect. I think the music is very cool, but it can sometimes seem a bit emotionally sterile, especially when accompanying horrifying and depressing footage. However, Reich's minimalist style seems to mimic the heartless and determined technological advancements that humans would appear to be making in the last hundred years. This film's plot could not be spoiled, since the plot is almost nonexistent. A warning to viewers: while there is no extreme violence in the movie, it is not a feel-good movie, and does not end on a positive note. A note about the music: it is written for tenor and soprano voices, percussionists, keyboards, and strings. This is all written in a chamber setting. The music combines these acoustic sounds with electronic sounds and effects.


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