Confessions of Johnny Barcode


""I am manufactured for the bloodthirsty people, I am the rivers tumbling into the poison oceans.” So begins Brent Hayward's apocalyptic collage of violence and power Confessions of Johnny Barcode

Combining his own footage with video synthesizer effects, text, a highly distorted industrial soundtrack and excerpts from B-movie horror films, Hayward's film soaks Fritz Laing's Metropolis in a cauldron of 20th century broadcast media. 

Constructed as rapid-fire montage and often returning to a post-apocalyptic orange hue, the film appears to be set in a future post-democratic state where aspirations of the individual are ruthlessly suppressed. Although this overseeing power remains unnamed, the film makes an early reference to East Timor, and we briefly catch glimpses of issues closer to home such as New Zealand social welfare reform.

Politicised and chaotic, Haywards use of collage evokes comparison to US film-maker Craig Baldwin (who identified his own practice as 'media archaeology') and the jarring intensity of Ryan Trecartin.

Although Hayward's work is often noted for it's power to shock, it has seldom been without humour. In Confessions of Johnny Barcode a giant model hand emerges to drag unsuspecting human workers out of shot, while hobbies of the mysterious I.A.N are identified as 'farmyards' and 'mating'."

- Mark Williams

Note: While Confessions of Johnny Barcode was originally made in 1999, this particular cut was completed in 2011.


raviere fats white
11 juin 2011 Grenoble