Hollywood Burn [and other illegal activities]
Hollywood Burn [and other illegally reappropriated footage]
presented by Open City Cinema and Cineflyer
Friday, May 25th, 2012 // Doors at 7:30PM // Show at 8PM
@ RAW: Gallery of Architecture and Design (the basement of 290 McDermot Ave.)
SHORT FILMS (In screening order):
Matthew Rankin - Interview with John Lennon and the Mayor of Winnipeg
Aaron Zeghers – I See a Light
Clint Enns – Pleasure Island
Scott Fitzpatrick – La Salle Hotel
Rhayne Vermette – Tricks are for Kiddos
Jaimz Asmundson - Kanye West apologizes to George W. Bush
Stéphane Oystryk – Hard-ons in Harperland
Chance Taylor – In My Room
Heidi Phillips – Discovering Composition in Art
Hollywood Burn (2011) by Soda_Jerk
Composed of 100s of stolen video and audio bites, Hollywood Burn is a remixed, narrative foray into a futuristic world of overzealous copyright control. By reappropriating the images that Hollywood has been so staunch in protecting, this work not only creates an incredibly entertaining story of it’s own, but also takes a vocal stance on copyright law in the world today.
The film comes via the Berlin-based filmmaking duo that work under the moniker of Soda_Jerk. They have been honing their found footage filmmaking skills for over a decade, and it shows. This ain’t your grandmother’s found footage, Hollywood Burn is a fully realized narrative film. “Mimicking the hyperbolic rhetoric of today’s copyright cops, this film pits a righteous league of video pirates against the evil tyrant Moses and his copyright commandments. Determined to alter the present by changing the past, the pirates travel back to 1955 to construct the ultimate weapon: an Elvis Presley video-clone,” say Soda_Jerk about their film.
At it’s politicized core, Hollywood Burn is a manifesto against overzealous copyright control, all produced unknowingly by Hollywood itself. At times it’s nearly surprising how blunt the filmmakers make their blow to corporate copyright. For example, the film opens with the Universal studio logo coming swirling around the globe. But as the word “Universal” hits it’s mark, another word “piracy” fades in below it. And it continues from there, with Soda_Jerk reaching not-so-carefully down the toothy throat of the Hollywood beast.
Though their intentions with this film are crystal clear, their political ambitions do not get in the way of some really ingenuitive filmmaking. There are so many hilarious and witty moments in this film, created simply by re-editing infamous scenes from movies that nearly anyone will recognize. It’s amazing to see and hear these familiar images and sounds, but then receiving them re-contextualized so seamlessly into a completely different narrative story.
It’s also at times surprising to see how closely Hollywood Burn treads to the Hollywood narrative tradition. The plot is quickly laid out and the good and bad character’s introduced. There is the obligatory car chase and shootout scenes, complete with a “best of” action movie kiss-off lines. There is time travel, superheroes, the “party-to-end-all-parties”, and of course Bill Murray.
Soda_Jerk themselves claim that they are but a parasite, “feeding off the body of Hollywood and inhabiting its cinematic structures and codes.” But the truth is that they are far more than mere leeches. They have honed a technique that requires more patience and dedication than many people could muster in a lifetime. They have succeeded in so many avenues that modern Hollywood repeatedly fails, and as a result have created one of the best found footage films I have ever seen.
Ahead of it’s prestigious Chicago Underground Film Festival screening in early June, Hollwood Burn will be playing here in Winnipeg on Friday evening, May 25th, brought to you by Open City Cinema, RAW: Gallery of Architecture and Design, and yours truly, Cineflyer. The screening of the 52-minute film will be preceded by some local found footage shorts, some of which were made recently at a workshop taught by Other Cinema‘s found footage master, Craig Baldwin.
Full event details at the top of this article, or find the Facebook event here!