Saturday, February 27, 2010


This isn't really a 'proper' BTi post: just a bunch of films in one spot, so I never need invoke the Sniffer Dogs of Styx to track 'em down on YouTube again. It's also, to my knowledge, the first blog effort to collate a series of videos shown on the first season (Tx 1993) of Channel 4's Midnight Underground - years before that wretched channel devoted itself to hateful documentaries about 70s porn stars, toffee-nosed villa-hunters, organic chicken-rearing pillocks and sneering at obese Russian children and single mums.

It used to go out on Wednesday (or was it Tuesday?) nights, often lasting until past 3am, and was presented by a mild-mannered, long-haired chap called Benjamin Woolley. Basically, for a couple of hours, all bets on 'Consensus Reality' were well and truly off. Midnight Underground went off the air for two years, then made a comeback up until '97, though I think I only caught it once afterwards, and the format had changed to a showcase for single, longer, contemporary films. If you want to get in the mood for this, watch it in the small hours on a weekday night, with all the lights out.

This is a kind of patchy 'Best of..' from 1993. I say 'patchy' because I couldn't trace some of the stuff I wanted to. Unfortunately, Bruce Connor's video for Devo's Mongoloid has been removed from YouTube due to copyright restrictions, while Steve Dwoskin's Moment ((12 minutes of a girl's face during orgasm)) and Daina Krumins' Divine Miracle ((like an ultra-kitsch film version of Reality Asylum IIRC, which I probably don't)) are nowhere to be found on the InterWeb.

Anyway, I'd like to dedicate this post to me at 17, and to anyone else who used to stay up and fry their brains. Oh, and to Benjamin Woolley, whatever he's up to now. If you're not into it, come back in early March. Hope your servers don't crash!

that wojciech bruszewski film is fucking amazing - blew me away when they showed that. midnight underground was a brilliant series. i've probably got a vhs tape with bits of the series still kicking around somewhere in my mum's loft.

only found out the other week that bruszewski died last october as well, which is really really shit. he did some amazing work (not just video stuff: weird sound sound-installations with copies of newspapers, setting up diy radio stations, etc.) anyway, great post!
God yeah...blew me away too, I don't mind admitting I found it really exciting and unsettling at the time, spesh as it was probably 1.13am and my parents were snoring and farting next door, and I had to keep twiddling the volume down to not wake them up...while thinking, what the fuck is this?? Sorry to hear Bruszewski's dead -will check his other stuff - would love to hear his sound installations!

Glad you enjoyed it. MU was such a brilliant programme, you never knew what was coming next...cheers
Top find. I'm pretty sure I've got a variety of MU clips on video tapes that are totally trashed now. I keep telling people about the mind fuck that was that Hungarian screaming film. I rembember watching it and my friend coming back to theflat, drunk, and having to leave cos' it was really mashing his head.
cheers for putting these up. There is a new run of ch4's Shooting Gallery which isn't bad but not so experimental as MU. On a mainstream front, check out the BMW Clive Owen viral ads from ages ago ('Beat the devil' with Gary Oldman is a cracker ;-) )
Crazy shit, all of it! Got 'em all (as in all of the first series) bar one on VHS, prized 'em beyond belief for years, and I'm currently in the process of digitizing 'em.
Oh My God. I have been waiting so long to see these again. Thanks so much for posting them.
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Shame that a lot of these videos are now no longer available to watch. I'd do anything to see that tourist video with the narration about "Venice the beautiful..." edited to be a progressive loop. Also that strobe sex Vietnam one. Would be good to see some of the between film spiel from the presenter guy. Please do post details if any of the above is online. This is such a find.
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