I finally watched “The Mindscape of Alan Moore” last night. In a few words, this documentary offers an exclusive interview with the author over a background of phychedelic images.
I didn’t know what to expect of this piece, and even after watching it I’m not very sure what to think of it. The images are mostly irrelevant and merely decorate -rather than illustrate- the words of the author. The same content could have been translated -perhaps more faithfully- as a podcast or a radio interview, but I guess the potential audience -Alan Moore fans and consequently comic readers- will appreciate the audiovisual component.
Contents dwell briefly upon a variety of subjects. Moore introduces himself with some brief autobiographical stories, goes on to review the evolution of some of his works and finally focuses on the main topic: his thoughts on our society and culture, touching upon themes such as art, sexuality or religion. Perhaps the greatest fault of this documentary is that it covers so many important topics in such a short time that each of them lacks depth. Though I can say that at least I finally came to understand what Moore means when he refers to himself as a “magician” -though I’ll leave the explanation to those who take the time to see the video.
Viewers searching “The Mindscape…” for analysis of his works or writing methods will be disappointed, as these topics are only superficially mentioned. Still, I found myself taking notes and copying quotes for future use in the workshop.
On the other hand, admirers of the issues explored in Moore’s comics will find many ideas on which to dwell. Personally, in spite of my usual despise for modern prophets, I found Moore has a very clear, unique view of the world we live in that deserves being explored. “The Mindscape…” has awakened my hunger not for writing, but for learning, and this is always good for any writer.
It is not the job of artists to give the audience what the audience want. If the audience knew what they needed, then they wouldn’t be the audience – they would be the artist. It is the job of the artists to give the audience what they need.