Set in Slovenia, this documentary companion to Sonic Outlaws weaves newsreel footage and quotes from Walter Benjamin and Bertolt Brecht into a dense compendium of history and art theory. It focuses mainly on the Slovenian industrial band cum “resistance art” group known as Laibach, famous abroad for releasing a song-by-song cover of the Beatles’ Let it Be. Following the collapse of the former Yugoslavia, this totalitarian-looking and -sounding band (imagine Devo enacting an art-rock Triumph of the Will) joined with a painting and theater group to form an arts collective and veritable micro-state called NSK–which, in modeling itself after a socialist state bureaucracy, has opened embassies abroad and issued its own passports in Slovenia. While the American director Michael Benson ponders the question of whether Laibach embodies politicized art or aestheticized politics, fascist propaganda or critique of fascist propaganda, the band claims that its mission is to “make Evil lose its nerves.” Ultimately, the film seems to argue that Laibach is uniquely subversive for holding a mirror up to society, and for daring to take its larger context seriously; so too is Predictions of Fire.
Nicholson Hall, Thursday, April 17 at 9:30 p.m.