"If you've ever toyed with the idea that the CIA might have killed JFK, that NASA might have faked the moon landings, or that shape-shifting reptilian illuminati might rule the world—or if you've simply ever wondered how anyone else could entertain such ideas—Real Enemies...may stoke your conspiratorial embers."—The Guardian, London
Isaac Butler, writer and director
Peter Nigrini, film design
Produced by Beth Morrison Projects
Composer and bandleader Darcy James Argue arrives in Berkeley with his Secret Society, an 18-piece big band of New York's best and brightest improvisers, for an immersive performance of video, text, and music exploring the American fascination with conspiracy theories. Taking his title from a 2009 book by Kathryn Olmsted (Real Enemies: Conspiracy Theories and American Democracy, World War I to 9/11), Argue has created a multimovement suite packed with plots and paranoia, "a work of furious ambition that feels deeply in tune with our present moment" (The New York Times). Argue's eclectic music combines traditional jazz with postwar serialism, Latin rhythms, film noir orchestrations, and rock sonorities, deploying a clever mix of distinctly American musical styles to explore everything from the Red Scare to the surveillance state, mind control to fake moon landings, FBI schemes to alien sightings.
An Illuminations: Fact or Fiction event >