Son of Oil

1982, 16:08 min, color, sound

Son of Oil is a cautionary tale about the decline of Western civilization, as only Oursler could envision it. Oil is the central metaphor around which he constructs a burlesque critique of the cults of money and power that fuel economic and sexual systems, social pathology and cultural mythologies. Allusions to terrorists, the Son of Sam killer, the oil crisis and John Hinckley locate the dense narrative text in the media-saturated vertigo of early-1980s America. The grand dimensions of this subversive drama, in which Oursler employs actors in addition to his usual puppet-like props and objects, are played out in a deliberately claustrophobic, fantastically rendered theatrical space.