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A less-explored but completely fascinating strand of cinema history is that of “appropriation” through found footage art and the remixing existing media to create new contexts and meanings. While generally associated with avant garde artists like Bruce Conner, it’s an amazingly diverse tradition manifest through work as wide-ranging as Godzilla, King of the Monsters, Woody Allen’s What’s Up, Tiger Lilly? and Steven Soderbergh’s recut of 2001. Throw in the bizarre reformulations of iconic films that yield a Turkish Spiderman or a Nigerian Tarzan as well as crowd-sourced projects like Star Wars Uncut and it’s also inescapably entertaining.

One filmmaker whose sensibility finds deep roots in found footage art, collage, cut-up and the reframing of cultural iconography is Rodney Ascher, whose brilliant Room 237 explores a handful of outlandish interpretations and perceived meanings of Stanley Kubrick’s The Shining and is itself a variant on the ‘found footage film’. Along with The Nightmare (a terrifying look at people who experience sleep paralysis) and his short S from Hell (a horror film about the Screen Gems logo), Room 237 can be loosely classified as a documentary, but in a way that illustrates the vastly expanding borders of non-fiction.

What’s more in a digital age, the appropriation of popular media has essentially become a popular practice…a digital-age mode of expression for just about anybody who can access the web.

Join us for a look at the fabulously eclectic, swiftly-evolving world of appropriation, remixes, mash-ups and more….

Lost & Found at the Movies is generously supported by the Hollywood Foreign Press Association.
John Nein

John Nein

John Nein is a senior programmer at the Sundance Film Festival and deals primarily with US and international feature films. He also plans the festival’s panels and runs the Institute’s film preservation initiative. John grew up in Europe and the United States, studied history at Carleton College and earned his MFA from UCLA’s Film Directing program, where he made several award-winning shorts and lobbied tirelessly for better coffee in the vending machines.

Rodney Ascher

RODNEY ASCHER is a filmmaker whose feature debut, the ‘subjective documentary’ Room 237 premiered at Sundance in 2012 before screening at festivals around the world including Cannes, London, the Vienalle,  Sitges, Toronto, and New York. The microbudgeted feature was rated by Entertainment Weekly’s Owen Glieberman as one the 5 best films of the year, and Chuck Klosterman wrote “It obliterated my cranium.” At Fantastic Fest he won the Best Director (documentary) award and the International Documentary Association gave him Best Editing honors. 2015’s ‘The Nightmare”  was produced by the team behind The PactJiro Dreams of Sushi, and Academy Award®-winning Undefeated, and it likewise debuted at Sundance where it was called The Scariest Movie of the decade” (Birth.movies.death) and “One of the scariest documentaries ever’ (Indiewire) before being released internationally. The Guardian’s Peter Bradshaw called it “The one film to watch this week.” His other projects include a GIF-based music video for the band Clipping (featuring Hamilton’s Daveed Diggs), a chapter of  the anthology film ABC’s of Death 2, editing Andy Kaufman’s posthumous (?) comedy album, Andy and His Grandmother, producing and editing Room 237 producer Tim Kirk’s The Terror of Frankenstein: Director’s Commentary, as well as countless short films including the infamous The S From Hell. He lives in a fast-gentrifying neighborhood in Los Angeles with his talented wife, a beautiful cat, and a six year old boy with a special interest in the sinking of the Bismarck.

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