Review Blog


Posted by Gerald Wright on August 18, 2011 at 12:05 AM

               The History of Subliminal Messaging in America

Directed by: Jeff Warrick

Running time: 105 min.

Release date: August 19, 2011

Genre: Documentary

Distributor: International Film Circuit & Buzzledom

This is a film that takes a surrounding examination of the controversial concept of empowering the mind through sensory stimuli below an individual's absolute threshold for conscience perception.  Visual stimuli may be quickly flashed before an individual and possibly processed, or flashed and then masked which interrupts the retaining processing.  Audio stimuli may be played below audible volumes, similarly masked by other stimuli, or recorded backwards in a process called backmasking.  Introduced in 1895, the concept became controversial as "subliminal messages".  However, in 1957, when marketing practioners claimed its potential use in persuasion, the near-consensus among research psychologists was that subliminal messages do not produce an effect fleeting on the thinking process.  Yet, apart from their controversial use of marketing use, subliminal stimuli are employed in scientific research on unconscious perception.

Jeff Warrick's film raises questions. Are we all brainwashed?  Or have we just lost our minds?  With the use of eye-opening footage, 30 revealing interviews conducted across the country with authors and experts in the field of advertising, film, television, music, politics, psychology, and military applications such practices have been determined successful.  Warrick's personal mission is masterfully brought to cinema with humorous anecdotes and array of visual effects.  The film categoricaly explores this theory of manipulating the unconscious mind while examining the reported history, scientific research and potential effects of such techniques on society.

The filmage journey of this documentary takes on an investigative challenge of stories whose central struggle is to find out what really happened and thus to expose the truth.  Yet, the adventurous stories whose central struggle plays out mainly through encounters with 'new worlds'.   The thought-provoking stories whose central struggle is generated from the technology and tools of a scientifically imaginable worlds are exposed in a way that the audience has the option to - believe it or not?

It was fun watching how this film used its cutaway shots of exteriors (similar to still phographs) and 'chill footage' (aka Cinema verite of Live action) taking in characters as themselves without filmmaker interactionThe off-screen voice procedure of 'process footage', a style of shooting veteran Werner Herzog uses in his work.  For example, this is actual shooting when you are walking up to someone's door (for real-not faking it).  And last of all, is the archival footage and making use of old stories, news and films from the past to add validity to this controversial subject.


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