Starring Dutch performance Guy Richard Smith and featuring digital animation by PanOptics.
Gary Breslin, Christoph Draeger and Reynold Reynold have made a fictionalised newscast depicting a live broadcast of the end of the world. Posing as 'Guy Smith', anchorman for MSNBC's (also fictionalised) "24 Hour Disaster and Survival Network", the actor reports a sequence of events beginning with the bombing of Big Ben.
The situation gets progressively worse. Terrorists destroy the Chrysler building, aliens vaporise the White House, and Paris is somehow struck by a nuclear bomb. Between sequences of destruction, the reporter interviews various people. First Dr. Immerworst of Harvard explains that there is no reason behind the terrorists's actions, simply that they are 'evil' and should be killed. Then Charity Wellgood, pet psychologist, offers tips on how to counsel pets and children after disasters. As the action rises, the discussions give way to random footages of carnage and ruin, including one shot - not fictionalised of course - of airplanes flying into the World Trade Center. Smith's commentary throughout, although growing more panicked with each event, focuses less on the horror of the deed but rather more on firstly revenge, and lastly, on whether anyone is even watching his broadcast. Begging for the viewers to call the station hotline and register their comments on air, no one does, and he is terrified. Finally the broadcast becomes fuzzy and snaps to a black screen.
A commentary not only on the zezal for revenge felt by many after the attacks, but also on the often absurd manner in which the media portrayed the events, 'The Last News' is a poignant and very contemporary piece about the transmission - and reception - of information. As more outlets of media are controlled by a small handful or corporate giants, the pursuit of profits and ratings alsways leads to a dangerous sensationalism, and Draeger/Reynolds parodies this to its extreme.
Digital animation by Gary Breslin.
The Last News
Artist: Christoph Draeger
Production year: 2002
DOCUMENTATION, APPROPRIATION, SOCIAL/POLITICAL
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