Overall, I think it's great when anyone makes media out of other media ( bravo to all the contestants here!), so I feel a bit bad about being so picky and blunt here. Please take my brief comments with large grains of salt! But collage as critique has been around for quite a while now, so at this date, and as someone who does this kind of work myself and is harshly self-critical, I am looking for work that both says something new and does it in new and different ways without hitting you over the head with a sledgehammer. Luckily, one of these ten shorts was a clear winner in my mind.
In general, as propaganda, some of the other shorts were okay, though mostly kinda too simple and crude for my artier tastes, and with often terrible sound mixes. Work on your sound folks! It goes a long way towards getting your ideas across.
TRUE HOLLYWOOD ROBOT
Very clever technically, clever concpet, horrible sound and a very bad choice for voice over talent, but most of all it tries to be funny and it's simply not funny. Kiss of death.
REMIX CULTURE II
Steals from a guy (Craig Baldwin) who steals to make his art. I've always thought appropriating from appropriators was a pretty lazy approach. As for the rest of this, just the fact that it's all stolen is not enough to tie it together for me. Bad sound mix.
REMIX CULTURE (the one with James Woods)
Cute, gets an idea across, wish it took the idea further. Seems unfinished.
XMAS IN NYC
Kinda fun and nicely done for what it is - an appropriated music video. But I wish the actual found lyrics added up to something that made sense. Santa Claus in NYC? What? I wish this had been about something, instead of seeming totally random.
First bit with old O'Reilly VS. new O'Reilly is very nice, funny, and could have been expanded into the whole piece. The rest is not so interesting and seems essentially unrelated to the start. Just the fact that it's all stolen is not enough to tie it together. Steals from Brian Boyce. That's rather lame in my book. Brian's work is fantastic, so this filmmaker might try to make his own cool transformed stolen stuff and not just steal other folks cool transformed stolen stuff. I know, I know, I sound like an old curmudgeon here. Sorry!
MY BIKE IN C MINOR
Not enough to just have a song about "my bike" and steal shots of folks riding bikes. Needs more layers to it to hold my interest. Too simple.
REMIX CULTURE I
Nicely edited. Bad sound mix makes it hard to follow.
Crude and gets an idea across, but it's too juvenile and finger pointing in tone for me. Yes, that's a bad word. We know that. This needed to make a deeper critique.
READ / WRITE REMIX
Making Lessig say the start of Lennon's IMAGINE is cute, though the rest of this short is kind of incoherent and has bad sound.
But.....and now.....at last...... the winner is....
Jata Haan "COMPOSITION"!!
This smart and elegant short embodies the ideas in the actual work itself and in a new and inventive way. Half way through viewing it I realized what it must be made from - images taken by others found on FLICKR. Really subtle and nicely done. This should be expanded into a much larger work.
- Mark Hosler, Negativland