Here we have an ad, for a high school made by its own students, with a biting candor that would never make its way into any official advertisement. The video takes the form of a brisk pre-Buzzfeed listicle, whizzing from one horror to the next: Winchester Mansion-style stairways that uselessly criss-cross the ceiling, Kafkaesque defribrillator chests with their guts torn out, and worst of all, the boxes: menacing, sound-suppressing, abstract clusters that hang suspended, GLaDOS-like, from the ceilings. Though the video is nearly 10 years old now, it serves as a time-capsule, demonstrating the institutionalized madness of a 20th century education—an education system informed and inspired by both the day-shift factory and the prison cell block. For contrast, I recommend seeking out this filmmaker’s later work, La Violencia en Colombia. Truly, in the case of Mr. Spencer “Captan Bob” Mirabal, we can admire a person who has left record, warts and all, of their own portrait of the artist as a young man.
This review originally appeared in the Austin School of Film’s recommendations blog, MIX/VHS. Check out the full post here!