Once upon a time, the recording of one's own life could feel like an act of radical preservation, a deliberate archival effort. Now, it's inconceivable that even the minutiae of our lives would pass uncatalogued, and the evidence of our memories is constantly and literally available at our fingertips. Into this tide of artefacts steps a terrific independent show, The Hiss, which looks at strange and important moments in individual lives, and often makes use of home video or audio. In one case, we meet a young woman who has just lost her father; among his possessions, she finds a recording of an exorcism, and tells the story of how he came to make it. We hear childhood videos of a young girl performing and her brother's account of her subsequent mental collapse. We hear a grandson record his grandmother, who has Alzheimer's, at points of varying lucidity. These moments are not inherently meaningful, but they are deeply significant for the people who have preserved them. They are representative of disappeared people and places, of things that will never come back, of events that defy explanation.
We have independent producer James Kim (also associate producer for KPCC's The Frame) to thank for these absorbing accounts. Four 15-minute episodes comprise the first season and we loved every minute - here's hoping for more to come.
Gateway episodes: #1 The Storyteller (1 Aug) / #2 The Dancer (1 Aug)