Festival of (In)appropriation DVD #4 includes:
Interdimensional Headphase (Dillon Rickman, 2011)
Using images from the film known as “Turkish Star Wars” as his substrate, Dillon Rickman manipulates the digital code underlying the images to transform them into magnificent eruptions of color, to the point that the original images are barely recognizable. Strange figures emerge from the digital fog and then disappear back into its depths.
Camp (Peter Freund, 2011)
Peter Freund’s Camp superimposes the political and theatrical senses of the word “camp,” pointing to unexpected convergences between the figure of the concentration camp and camp aesthetics. Without diminishing the horror of the Holocaust, the film suggests the essential role of fantasy in traumatic historical memory and the ethical grounding of campy enjoyment. Two narrators, one speaking Mandarin and the other Arabic, mix statements by Giorgio Agamben, Susan Sontag, and other writers with original commentary.
Lucky Strike (Shashwati Talukdar, 2010)
By appropriating Lucky Strike commercials and footage of the atomic bomb tests from the 1950s, Shashwati Talukdar points toward the ontological affinities between corporate and government attempts to convince people to listen to and trust the “authorities.”
Jive (Steve Cossman, 2011)
Steve Cossman’s Jive can be described as both an assault on the senses and a mystery. To make this film, Cossman took a single photograph and broke it up into 100 segments, which he then reshot in various sequences and turned into a flickering barrage of tiny images that have been blown up to fill the screen. A throbbing soundtrack by Jeff Smith further intensifies this visual experience, transforming it into a full body vibration. At the same time, however, the film challenges us to try to identify or envision the original photograph – which it teasingly never reveals.
The Homogenics (Gerard Freixes Ribera, 2010)
In The Homogenics, Gerard Freixes Ribera appropriates footage taken from The Dick Van Dyke Show and reedits the imagery so that Dick Van Dyke multiplies, occupying several roles at once and having hilarious conversations with himself. However, the film points not only to the homogeneity of the suburban setting in which the show takes place but also on the stereotypical gender roles reinforced by the show as Dick Van Dyke takes on both the masculine and feminine roles.
Ceibas Epilogue: The Well of Representation (Evan Meaney, 2011)
In this “remake” of Hollis Frampton’s 1979 film Gloria!, Evan Meaney hacks into a 16-bit video game set in the early 20th century. Ceibas Epilogue: The Well of Representation, which is part of Meaney’s larger Ceibas Cycle, reveals not only the humor we may find in an outdated media object but also the poignancy of loss – lost data, lost memory and lost life – as our visions of the past break down into digital noise. By reediting and rewriting some of the game’s text boxes, Meaney reveals how a simple game can be transformed and repurposed for poetic ends.
Avo (Muidumbe)/Granny (Muidumbe) (Raquel Schefer, 2009)
In Avo, Portuguese filmmaker Raquel Schefer’s personal exploration of her family’s history merges with the larger history of Portugal’s colonization of Mozambique. By dressing up just as her grandmother appeared in archival home movie footage taken in 1960 in Mozambique and then restaging the footage with herself in her grandmother’s role, Schefer points to the ways in which descendants of colonizers must still come to grips with the colonial legacy.
Kanye West Apologizes to George W. Bush (Jaimz Asmundson, 2011)
Splicing together footage from two different episodes of The Today Show to create his film, Jaimz Asmundson allows hip-hop star Kanye West and George W. Bush to have a conversation about whether Bush, as West once said publicly, “doesn’t care about black people.” The humor of this film emerges as we come to realize that West and Bush never actually sat down together in the same room and that, in fact, we are watching two separate interviews that have been artfully merged into one.
A Reasonable Man (Brian L. Frye, 2011)
In March 2001, a Georgia police officer observed Victor Harris speeding and initiated pursuit. Deputy Timothy Scott joined the pursuit and intentionally collided with Harris, who crashed and was rendered a quadriplegic. Harris sued Scott, alleging that Scott used excessive force because the pursuit did not endanger the public. Scott responded that the pursuit did endanger the public, and submitted two videotapes of the pursuit taken from the front of two police cars. The trial court held that a jury should decide the case because the parties disagreed about a question of fact: whether the pursuit endangered the public. In Scott v. Harris, the Supreme Court reversed 8-1, holding that the videotapes conclusively disproved Harris’s version of the facts. A Reasonable Man uses the videotapes submitted by Scott and excerpts from the oral argument before the Supreme Court to show how courts have evaluated one kind of motion picture evidence.
Guttae (Marcin Blajecki, 2010)
“Guttae” literally means “drops.” In Marcin Blajecki’s film, science films about the ocular, circulatory, and nervous systems are combined with images of people jumping off diving boards and a car crash. The music and a voice saying “Another heartbeat stopped. Do accidents just happen?” add a sense of menace to these “educational” images.
The Voyagers (Penny Lane, 2010)
In 1977, NASA sent two Voyager spacecraft on an epic and risky journey into interstellar space. Each Voyager carries a golden record album, a massive compilation of images and sounds embodying the best of Planet Earth. While working on the golden record, Sagan met and fell madly in love with his future wife, Ann Druyan. The record became their love letter to humankind and to each other. Recently, Penny Lane began her own hopeful voyage into the unknown, and this film serves as a love letter to her fellow traveler.
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