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This is a documentary on the movement MI!MS (Maximum Irony! Maximum Sincerity), that existed briefly in Bedford in the first few years of the century. The movement pivoted around the artwork of Andy Holden, the music of Johnny Parry and Roger Illingworth (Show Without Punch, Buzzard Lope, Grubby Mitts) and the plays of J.B MacDowell. It also had links to the fanzine "Raise High The Roofbeam Carpenters!" and is associated with the record label Lost Toys Records.
The movement's manifesto posited a coupling of Irony and Sincerity, the two operating together simultaneously and oscillating wildly, impossible to tell the one from the other, but always invested in an attempt to make something genuine. In part a reaction to the culture the movements members found themselves surrounded by, and in part an attempt at something that could affect their hometown of Bedford, the movement thrived on the transition from adolescent to adult, a yearning for the past with an eye for the future.
"MI!MS is about the willingness to be lied to and the will to believe! It's about the intense sadness of our unrealistic dreams, and the intense joy of our desire for them."
"We should not be cynical about the emotions in our work - we are simply cynical about the means we have to express those emotions"
"It is ridiculous! Yes but it moves us. Yes, but it is ridiculous! Yes, but it moves us....It is ironic! Yes, but it is sincere.
Through acknowledging the infinite potential we have for failure, MI!MS creates a final product that succeeds in spite of, and because of, our ridiculous dreams."
This documentary was originally commissioned for Off The Record, a project by the Royal College of Art MA Curating and broadcast on Resonance 104.4FM.