Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son (1969)
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I understand what Ken Jacobs is doing here, dissecting and looking at this piece of found footage from many different angles. This kind of stuff just doesn't appeal to me. I'm not much for dissecting the image of film and looking at it up close, up side down and sped up or slowed down...it isn't my bag. To each their own, this just isn't my bag.
Ken Jacobs' film begins with the 1905 short of the same title -- a mildly amusing but forgettable little farce. He then proceeds to deconstruct the holy hell out of it for the next 100 minutes. At times he appears to be examining it for sinister clues, as if it were the Zapruder film: freeze-framing, step-framing, running it backwards, isolating a particular detail. At other times, he creates an abstraction out of it: zooming in on something unrecognizable, or running it through the gate (I don't know the technical term) so that it blurs. He also shows the mechanics of movie watching, showing us the movie screen or the flickering light of the projector. After all that, he repeats the short once more, now with a host of different perspectives in the viewer's mind, and caps it off with one final abstraction. It's a great idea, and unlike something like La region centrale, really needs to be seen to be appreciated. It works very well. I won't criticize the length, although it does get occasionally wearisome (the blurring section goes on rather long)... but the sheer excessiveness of it is part of its charm. However, it's definitely not for everyone and is pretty much a "watch it once" kind of thing.
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