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….