The Message Most Difficult to Transmit

A portmanteau film by Simon Strong
with music by the Pink Stainless Tail

Oct. 2007
DVD | 50:47 | b/w & colour


A fundamentally flawed masterpiece

In March 2007, I (Simon Strong) finished bashing together some of my early PST film clips together with PST live footage and a lengthy but fascinating monologue (i.e. by me) to form a portmanteau musical feature film about the PST, the greatest avant-mod combo of the noughties. The film was intended primarily as a learning exercise and was never intended for public exhibition so I did not liaise with other members of PST during production. I was pleased with the end result and still consider it a worthy addition to the canon of musical film.

Other members of PST were less impressed to varying degrees. This is understandable regardless of the issue of value of work. Deliberate lack of consultation will not dispose anyone favourably to the reception of a work. Unfortunately, this policy had been necessary for me to complete the film – and hence my education. Since the film was not intended for release, no-one could be adversely affected by its corporeal existence.

In addition to the reservations of other members, I myself belatedly became aware of a glaring and serious flaw in the totality of the work. Given that I was the sole interview subject, and spoke from a personal perspective, my conception of the group received an inevitable prominence. This was a particular problem for at least two reasons:

(1) In terms of content, PST had always arrived at decisions by concensus and the oeuvre is characterised as a collective (albeit altered) conciousness, so the film was completely anomalous in that regard. IE The film is counter-representative of the PST while presenting itself with authority. Hopefully, this situation will be mitigated as other, more representative, documentation becomes available.

(2) Even more problematically, the undue prominence of my viewpoint conveyed the impression that I was, or saw myself, as the ‘leader’ of the group. This was compltely abhorent to me. I had always striven to uphold the highest degree of democracy in the group, even when it ran counter to my strong opinion. This is a fundamental problem of the film that I believe cannot be resolved.

Given the anomolous and misleading aspects of the film, it is currently suppressed by the author. I believe this policy is consistent with the opinions of the other members. We apologise for the interruption to transmission. Normal service will be resumed as soon as possible.

Simon Strong
17 July 2011.