Circle’s Short Circuit is an experimental feature-length work with neither a beginning nor an end—the film can be viewed from any random point. It moves through a circle of five interlocking episodes that describe the phenomenon of interruption in contemporary communication through various forms and modes, investigating causes, consequences, and side-effects. Genres shift along the episodic path of this circle, moving from documentary to essay, through collage, simulated live-coverage, and silent film. As the phenomenon of interruption is seen to be a pervasive part of these genres, the film attends to the act of watching moving images.
At the center of the film is a documentary segment on the origin of the biggest upheaval in communication history: the invention of the telephone, initiated by the “man who contracted space,” Alexander Graham Bell. The episode features an interview with Avital Ronell, a theorist and philosopher, who thematically ties up the wires of telephonic circuits and their transcendental counterparts.
The film includes homages to the deconstructive tool-maker Jacques Derrida, the French writer Boris Vian, and the ghost of Japanese experimental theater and cinema, Shuji Terayama. —Video Data Bank