Nine Inch Nails’ Broken (also known as The Broken Movie) is a 1993 short film featuring four music videos from the Broken EP with wrap-around segments shot in the style of an amateur snuff film. The extremely graphic film was directed by Peter Christopherson of Throbbing Gristle, Coil, and Hipgnosis design group fame.
The NSFW video has never seen an official release (perhaps because no label would want to put their name on it?) and has to this day been a difficult piece to track down.
The terrifying, violent, and unforgettable film was originally “leaked” by Trent Reznor himself via hand-dubbed VHS tapes in the ‘90s. The original tapes were given by Reznor to various friends with video dropouts at certain points so he could know who redistributed any copies that might surface. Reznor, later implied in a comment on the Nine Inch Nails website that Gibby Haynes of the Butthole Surfers was responsible for the most prominent leak of the original tape.
In 2006 and 2013 the film was briefly “leaked” to the Internet, many believe by Reznor himself. In both cases, the film disappeared quickly. In the case of the 2013 “leak,” the entire video was made available for streaming on Vimeo via the Nine Inch Nails Tumblr account, but was removed by Vimeo almost immediately.
For the time being (in other words, WATCH IT WHILE YOU CAN), Broken has been uploaded to Archive.org under fair use laws.
It’s not for the squeamish, so we’re tucking of after the jump…
An incredible video of Throbbing Gristle recording their album Heathen Earth in one take, on a Saturday night between 20.10 and 21.00 hours, on February 16th 1980. The album was recorded in front of a small audience of friends and associates, at the Industrial Records studios, and was filmed by Monte Cazazza on a single camera, with “certain visual information” included by TG.
“The soundtrack of this tape was taken independant of the 8-track audio master recording and it remains ‘live’ and unremixed and consequently differs from the album in some places. Like the TG sound itself, the quality and content of this recording cannot and should not be compared with conventional commercial recordings…”
01. “Cornets” (that’s all we ever called it on gig sheets etc, boring hey!)
02. “The Old Man Smiled” (this is a song I wrote. Originally I was messing about on my own in the Death Factory, at Martello St. I got a rhythm I liked on my COMPURYTHM drumachine. Then a fuzzed lead bass guitar sound. So I recorded it. Maybe 15 minutes or so. One section made it onto 20 Jazz Funk Greats as “Six Six Sixties” I believe. But I always wanted a longer version. So after I came up with a story telling lyric primarily about William S. Burroughs and Brion Gysin in Tangiers and their stories of Captain Clark, boys etc I decided to do the NEW song on Heathen Earth. We did it live a couple of times too. At Oundle School for eg.) For Heathen Earth we used my original cassette as the basic track.
03. “After Cease To Exist” (yes, a new version for Heathen Earth)
04. “The World Is A War Film”
05. “Dreamachine” (Brion Gysin LOVED this track. Said it was best music, equal with The Master Musicians Of Jajouka to use his dreamachine. The rhythm had already existed (one of Chris Carter’s gems). So I always think happy thoughts of Brion, Bachir Attar and others listening with eyes closed in Paris at his apartment opposite the Beaubourg Museum in Rue St Martin. Ah, happy daze.)
06. “Still Walking” (A permutation of ‘meaningless’ phrases cooked up by myself and Sleazy, that were repeated over and over as the musics rythm gave shape to the shapeless. Chris and Cosey were shy of vocals at that time. It was partly a formula to get them to begin using their voices that I suggested based on Gysin’s theories and my own experiences of gaining confidence with microphones simply by using them.)
07. “Don’t Do As You’re Told, Do As You Think” (To be honest I think this is the weakest vocal track and lyric. Someone, a journalist or Sleazy or both suggested we should have a “positive” message! Ugh! Certainly Sleazy persuaded me to try and this is the resultant track. I still find it embarassing and wish I’d never listened to him. It would have been better as an instrumental. Ah well…)
08. “Painless Childbirth” (Named after a 10 inch vinyl album I found in a junk shop from which the voice was stolen.)
A great video of a brilliant performance by an excellent band.
When Throbbing Gristle’s mission was terminated in 1981, the band split into Chris & Cosey and Psychic TV, which, for a while, included both Peter “Sleazy” Christopherson and Genesis P-Orridge. Other members of the group’s initial incarnation were Paula P-Orridge, Alex Fergusson (formerly of Alternative TV), John “Zos Kia” Gosling and Geff Rushton, a.k.a. John Balance. At this time, the group’s sound was a unique mix of exotic instruments, Velvet Undergroundy guitar drone, TG and elements we think of as defining the music of Coil, which, of course, Christopherson and Balance soon went on to form.
I got to see this group (and after the Coil founders left) several times in the early 80s and these shows were among the most mesmerizing, insane and just plain hair-raisingly scary concerts I’ve ever attended. I vividly remember seeing Psychic TV at the Hammersmith Town Hall in 1984 and deciding to step back from the front of the stage in case a demon materialized. I didn’t want to be too close to that action!
This show, taped at the Berlin Atonal Festival in 1982, captures that same intimidating sense of menace and dark energy.
“a dream world, a world of magic and ritual, yet there are images there of the burning cars and radar systems, which remind you there is a price to be paid in order to gain this dream in the face of a world of violence.”
The sonnets are read by Judi Dench, and the soundtrack is by Coil.
Bonus footage of Peter “Sleazy” Christopherson, along with David Tibet, Othon Mataragas and Ernesto Tomasini, performing soundtrack to ‘The Angelic Conversation’ from 2008, after the jump…
Peter “Sleazy” Christopherson’s passing yesterday evoked many tributes to the man as a member of influential electronic acts Throbbing Gristle, Psychic TV and Coil. But we haven’t heard quite enough about one of his best solo projects, Threshold HouseBoys Choir.
Both live and on the guise’s single proper release, Form Grows Rampant, THBC basically comprised Sleazy backing his own video of various rituals at the Vegetarian Festival in southern Thailand’s Krabi Town (12 hours from his adopted home of Bangkok) with an abstract soundtrack that drew on the many field recordings he made in the city. Christopherson’s infamous fascination with the young active male body is clear in this work. But many of the problematics surrounding the European gaze that typifies exotica seem mitigated somehow by the late composer’s intimate audio-visual treatment.
Overall, Christopherson’s work helped create a literary, psychotropic aesthetic that synthesized aspects of outside sexuality, technology, and ritual magick, bound by a wry sense of humor. THBC brought that angle to a highly personal level, and will stand as an evocative late moment in the man’s prolific career.
P-Orridge’s ambivalent statement on the matter was offset by “Unkle Sleazy’s” take, and there’s likely debate as to how much value a P-Orridge-less TG holds. I’d think the excerpts below from the two shows speak for themselves.