Le Choc Du Futur (The Shock of the Future)
directed by Marc Collin
starring Alma Jodorosky, Phillipe Rebbot, Geoffrey Carey
Cleopatra Entertainment and The Perfect Kiss Films
Ana (Alma Jordowsky) faces the musical version of writers’ block. She owes her hard-rocking agent (Phillipe Rebbot) an ad jingle by today, or she must return a $1000 advance. Why her debt is in US dollars is odd, as this story is set in Paris. What Ana does have the use of a very large and impressive Moog synthesizer, the pinnacle of 1972 musical modernism. As she struggles for inspiration, she calls in a technician to fix the machine and he just happens to have a brand-new invention of his own – a Beat Box. They smoke a spliff and she convinces him to let her keep the box for a day. As Ana noodles on the Moog, her vocalist arrives, but she has no music for her to sing. Since they have nothing to record, they smoke some more pot and Ana shows the singer the new beat box. They decide to try and compose something, they succeed, and they then present it to the world at a big party that night. Ana is still broke and slightly drunk, but at least now she’s famous. A new musical genre is born: Electronica.
If all this sounds a little trite, it is. But there is a salvation here. Ana and her vocalist are both so charming you immediately fall in love with them. The music is clean and exciting, and the monster Moog hovers over the girls like Hal in 2001: A Space Odyssey. The parallels of a recent future story line engage, and you keep cheering for everybody. At the party, the track is a big hit, but Ana is miffed at something, and she and here lawyer friend leave the party and wander a rain lit Paris discussing life, its meaning, and should they begin an affair? Thus, we have a classic French romantic comedy where arguing about sex usurps the act itself. The seething Frenchness engages as we enter the world of high art and high artists. And the party? Well, I don’t get invited to cool events like that. Maybe you’re luckier. This is a gem of a dramatization, fun to watch and interesting as a historic milestone in modern music. Spoiler alert: the movie is in French with subtitles. That’s VERY French.