April 11, 2020

How can mental health and mythic narratives skewer our individual reality?

Samm Anga

VideoThe Infallible Mask of Melodious Phunk, 2020

This experimental piece explores the degree to which filmic and musical elements can mimic an unreliable mind. My experience receiving Cognitive Behavioural Therapy challenged me to question my own thoughts for the first time, and exposed how false narratives can manipulate one’s mental reality. I approach this intertextually by exploring the fragile self as a complex of the myriad of narratives we are exposed to throughout our lives. Studying in Scotland opened me up to a wide range of stories, witnessed within a unique melting pot of a DIY nightlife scene infused with casual decadence, techno nightclub patter and existential nihilism. In this vein, this film rejects the formal filmic structure, instead exploring a range of memories through spoken word and music, scattered within a semi-linear narrative. Through the process of visual and sonic repetition, thought, memory and recollection intertwine, cutting and looping like samples of an electronic beat. Like my mind, the screen skewers my failures and regret within the mask of grander mythologies, creating the titular ‘Melodious Phunk,’ a nonsensical name based on idiosyncratic jazz icon Thelonious Monk. Challenging reality, Jungian masculine archetypes, Greek tragedy and Biblical mythology collide with the domestic, burying catharsis within the layered web.