The schizophrenic structure of the techno documentary Headspace—flashing lights, blurry shots of men in ridiculously wide-legged neon pants, photos of colorful ecstasy pills—is clearly meant to mimic the feeling of a rave. The boredom, repetition, and general incoherence of the film are also rave-like—you might even experience nausea and/or disorientation. Director Jethro Senger filmed parties in 10 different international locations, including dance capitals like Berlin and Amsterdam, and spends at least a quarter of his movie following a carload of Midwestern teens. The various interviews Senger conducts with DJs, pro partiers, and record producers are meant to shed light on the rise and fall of world rave culture, but they only end up illuminating the idiocy of clubbers. When asked about the secret behind techno music, a man wearing ski goggles and a face mask, standing in a barren field outside Berlin, says with a thick German accent, “There is no secret. That’s the secret.” Perhaps if you spend your days sucking on pacifiers while E’d out of your mind, that kind of statement sounds deep.

This article from the Village Voice Archive was posted on March 20, 2007

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