As I mentioned in the previous post, Todd is a multitalented artist. Here is a film he recently created, called Rosebud Incarnation. I've included below an interview that Matson Duncan conducted with him. It provides a bit of insight on the project.
I'm mesmerized by the juxtaposition of visuals and music, and I've found myself humming the tune for days. I think the film is brilliant; deceptively simple perhaps, but brilliant and a little eerie I guess, though in a satisfying way. I'm proud of Todd and I genuinely hope both his music and film work take off with flying colors.
(I'm not sure how you'd go about watching the original clip, but having watched the original and the "interpreted" piece back to back just makes the experience all the more fascinating. Lastly: watch it full-screen if you can.)
Rosebud Incarnation from Slim Jim Spur on Vimeo.
What makes this music video special to you?
For my wife and I, this is the culmination of about 6 years of thinking about public domain footage and how it can be revived as part of new art pieces, but specifically in works that do more than just recontextualize the symbolism or themes of the original films. Films that have fallen out of copyright are freely available to download from the internet, change, and mashup and people are already doing so.
However, most of what my wife and I have seen has neglected the inherent beauty of these films and has reduced the work to parody or political satire. I am especially excited about this film as it is one of the most beautiful song and dance numbers from the golden age of Hollywood musicals at MGM. It has all of the great (and cheesy) elements of that era: beautiful choreography, fantastic costumes, and fresh faced teenagers with vacuous smiles -- all of it happening on stage during a simulated rainstorm with real rain drops falling on the stage.
What does it mean to you?
I'm torn between two opposing impulses that are presented in the original work. On the one hand the film seems to unquestioningly celebrate youth and glamour and revel in a kind of endless quest for physical perfection. There seems to be some dark undercurrents in the way that June Allyson (the girl in the pink rain coat) preens and pouts for the camera. I felt it was important to question the world that was impressed on the viewer and whether the characters were really in the state of bliss that was being presented.
On the other hand I just love the film for these same reasons so I'm just as much under it's sway as anyone else, maybe even more. I find it very difficult not to smile broadly whenever I look at the film. The choreographer and cinematographer are in perfect sync with each other and the colors and the camera movement complement the dancing and the singing perfectly. And it's just fun!
Why are you doing it?
I was intrigued by the possibility of writing a entirely new song that would completely inhabit the footage the viewer is seeing. My goal was to make it look like Ray MacDonald (blue raincoat) was singing my song, that he and the other dancers were dancing to the beats I created.
What you are trying to accomplish?
I feel that most art work that is based on found objects--whether collage, junkyard art, audio sampling, or what I'm doing here--and that this can all be seen as an effort to redeem something that was lost. Very few of the people who have screened the film so far have seen the original version, so there is an element of taking something old and forgotten, putting a new coat of paint on it, and putting it in a place of prominence to be rediscovered.
What can our individual readers do to support you and what can CLProject do to support you?
We are premiering the film in New York City at the 11th annual Encounter Conference sponsored by International Arts Movement. The premier date is March 5th and we will be releasing the film on to YouTube directly after the premier.
Ideally it would be great if your readers subscribed to the Slim Jim Spur channel on Vimeo, watched the video and then left a positive comment and rating for the film. Just search for "Slim Jim Spur" or "Rosebud Incarnation" on Google or Vimeo and then follow the links to get involved.