Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Cut it out

Visited the City Gallery to have a look at Tracey Moffatt’s two recent short video works Doomed and Love. Both are collages of clips from movies themed around disaster movies and male female relationships. At the Govett-Brewster a few years back we saw her video Artist, made in 2000. She had constructed a simple narrative out of clips from movies as varied as The Agony and the Ecstasy, Batman (The Joker sequence) and Surviving Picasso. It was funny and touching. Seven years later, the idea of theming clips from movies feels like it has been overtaken by YouTube and iMovie. You can see YouTube variations on the disaster theme here and here. Curiously Moffat doesn’t seem to credit any of the movies she cribs. Not sure what the rationale for this is – even some of the YouTube look-alikes do. Having said all that, the images of women being continuously assaulted and repeatedly shooting men is unsettlingly and powerful. The disaster sequences, not so much

If you want to see a very smart version of this genre watch His Girl Friday – Between the Lines. It’s a true labour of love constructed from the gabby film His Good Friday. Someone has edited a version that only includes bits when no one is talking. That cuts down Howard Hawks’ movie from 92 minutes to a mere 8.25 minutes.