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Tetsuo: The Iron Man Revisted

by In-House Pharmacy

Megatran 01:23
Chaser 01:55
Grip 01:51
Up the Walls 01:09
Flesh Metal 00:37
Tighter 01:42
Dirge 01:15


In the spring of 2018, a friend mentioned that she had begun helping curate programming for a queer arts festival in Los Angeles called Dirty Looks - On Location, which was organizing events all over Los Angeles for the entire month of July. She asked me what was going on with Naomi and I, music wise and I told her that we had been wanting to do a rescoring of a film, specifically “Tetsuo: The Iron Man”, which was a movie that we bonded over almost immediately after meeting each other. The themes of transformation, the merging of pleasure and pain, the seething anxiety and terror, the fear and joy in the promise of a fucked up and failing future, the ultimately helpless power fantasies, and most of all the hope of it all appealed to us. She said “That sounds perfect for the festival”, and shortly after the venue was booked.

We performed this in its entirety, live at Akbar in Silverlake on July 25th, 2018. Akbar is over 20 years old and caters itself not as a gay bar specifically, but as a gay run bar for misfits from traditional gay spaces. It was perfect for us.

Tetsuo: The Iron Man was a monumentally important film to both of us growing up. The primary sense of horror in the film is directed from the main character’s own body. We related to that feeling, like living in our bodies was a waking, palpable nightmare. Terror mixed with hope.

Shinya Tsukamoto used a variety of mixed media to illustrate the main narrative of the film: collage, paper mache, stop-motion technique, as well as pixelating the film itself. It feels desperate and haphazard. We saw a huge amount of queerness in it. While working on this, we reread Donna Haraway’s Cyborg Manifesto, which connected a lot of dots that we needed help connecting within ourselves and echoes a lot of the themes of the film as well. We took some of the titles of the songs from her manifesto.

We love that that it’s an alienating movie that speaks to alienated people. We are alienated. Where others may see nihilism in this film, we see a very delicate, desperately collaged together kind of hope.

We hope we’ve done justice to Chu Ishikawa’s original score. Thank you for listening.

In hope, anger and love,
In-House Pharmacy️ (Lauren Bousfield and Naomi Mitchell)


released October 14, 2018

Lauren Bousfield and Naomi Mitchell




Lauren Bousfield Los Angeles, California

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