This DVD is a documentary film about the history of the U. S. rave scene which includes a fantastic soundtrack! Both t he film and soundtrack capture the people and the music tha t shaped the underground sub-culture arou... more »nd electronic musi c in America.« less
"This is an excellent portrayal of the rave scene, which is definitely a breath of fresh air from the incompetent media types who feel the need to create a hysteria about something they don't take the time to understand. If you don't know what a rave is about, you should definitely give this a look, as it doesn't seek to glorify those elements about the scene that are getting all the attention (for example, ecstasy use). Instead, the footage consists of interviews with the partygoers, DJs, and other people who are actively involved within the scene.There is quite a substantial amount of "extras" on the DVD, such as an option to view a gallery of party fliers that had been going around at the time, extended interviews with DJs and other people in the industry, and even commentary by the film makers in which the documentary is played from front to back with the sound taken away and the film makers comment on each part of the footage. That part definitely sheds more light into how the scene works and also gives a little more insight into how they were able to meet the people they did and get some of the footage that they would have otherwise not been able to get.Too much to explain, this is just a great DVD."
Chris | 11/22/2000
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I found this movie to be an excellent source of knowledge in the history and evolution of modern day electronic/dance music and the "rave" scene. It is a wonderful documentary that captures the pure essence of the music and the culture. If you are someone who truly cares about this kind of music and are interested in learning something get this movie."
A great movie for anyone 'jaded' with life...
Lisa Sloane | Gaithersburg, Md | 05/30/2001
(4 out of 5 stars)
"The 80's had disco bunnies, the 70's were marked with hippies, the 20's had its flappers, and today we have ravers. The controversial status associated with this subculture makes `Better Living through Circuitry even more appealing to the average Joe because it allows them to better understand an active sub-culture in society today. Although a documentary of `raves', this movie can be enjoyed by anyone that appreciates a delightfully fresh and optimistic outlook on life.The movie is comprised of interviews and scenes from these so-called scandalous all-night parties, It answers the basic `who', `what', where' and `why' questions in regards to the scene and the people that make it possible. The movie is interesting as it gives both `behind the scene' as well as `at the scene' insight, making it interesting and informative to anyone that has not actually attended one of these events. Speaking from a point of view of someone who is in the scene, I can honestly say this documentary is a pretty accurate portrayal of parties and the inspirations behind them. Admittedly it is a bit on the 'candy' (or cheesy) side, which may disappoint some true party kids, but all in all, I thought it was done pretty well. `Better Living' incorporates the most important aspects of the scene, the music, the dj's/producers and the beliefs of the culture overall. It was able to somewhat convey the `aura' one might feel at a rave which is derived from the gregarious crowd, the awesome effects of lasers and light manipulation, and most of all the powerful music. The movie also does cover the notorious topic of the presence of ecstasy at raves. The concentration of this club drug is minimal in the movie, which parallels the fact that for serious ravers- this drug is not a significant part of their lives or their attendance at these parties. Yes!!, there are a large percentage of people at these parties that are sober!!, which I think would shock most of the people that aren't familiar with the scene. Many of those native to the scene criticize that the movie is does not give as much of a historical account of the development of the rave culture. It doesn't give a lot of 'historical' information about the scene, and talks briefly of how things used to be compared to how they are today. The interviews consist of top-name-Dj's and producers of electronic dance music, some promoters responsible for the making of raves, typical party kids, and even a few ordinary citizens. I liked the fact that the movie gave a lot of information about the music that makes everything else possible, and how the geniuses of this culture go about creating the pieces that they do. I thought this movie was good on several levels; it was pretty short so as not to be boring and holds viewer interest quite well. I hope that it gives society more of an understanding of what the rave scene is really about. If you enjoy this movie, and want to see other things like it, you might check out `Human Traffic', `Kids' or `Go', Human Traffic being my favorite amongst the list. I doubt that 'Better Living through Circuitry' will motivate the average American to look for flyers directing them to the next party in their city, but maybe it will make them less judgmental of people in general."
Great Doumentary, about our Underground Dance Culture
Adrian | Aomori, Japan | 10/19/2000
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I saw this in theatres four times, twice in the same day. And if you haven't seen it yet then, consider it a major priority. Jon Reiss, put together an excellent documentary about this culture I have grown to love and Cherrish. Actually digging deep into the history of most genres of electronic music, including the history of acid. Sneaking his Song VX1000 digital camera into Raves and talking with the 2 most important and influencial people to the scene DJs and of course US! Its all about keep'in it real and not getting to comercialized, and Jon did an excellent job. Much LUV! P.L.U.R."
Preaching to the converted
Ed Lewis | San Francisco, CA USA | 01/11/2001
(3 out of 5 stars)
"If you love the scene, this movie will bring you tons of flashbacks. Great flyers, good quotes from people who are big in the scene, nice shots of people dancing and plenty of good music. All in all, a nice slice of life.If you have no clue about raves or whatnot, get a friend who does so they can explain a lot of what's going on. My housemate saw this and thought it was utter crap til I told him what was up. The problem is that this is all a quick and scattered introduction to the rave scene. Many issues are picked up and quickly discarded in an effort to quicken the pace.On the commentary track, the director says that he didn't know anything about the scene before he started and it shows. Over the course of the film, the story gains more focus. A few of the threads begin to tie together and then the whole thing ends, maddeningly early.If you're looking for a history lesson or a good explanation of what's what, talk to someone in the scene or grab one of several excellent books on the subject. Better Living is a beautiful accompaniment to anyone who wants to see more, but it doesn't quite get you all the way."