Monday, 15 April 2013

Capital Celluloid 2013 - Day 118: Sun Apr 28

Star Spangled to Death (Jacobs, 2004): Close-Up CinemaBethnal Green Working Men's Club, 42-46 Pollard Row, Bethnal Green, London, E2 6NB, 1pm

Star Spangled to Death is a 2004 experimental film directed by Ken Jacobs, consisting almost entirely of archive footage, depicting the history of the United States in film. It won the Douglas Edwards Experimental/Independent Film/Video Award at the Los Angeles Film Critics Association Awards 2004. More details on tonight's presentation here on Close-Up's Facebook page.

Chicago Reader review:
Initially shot in 16-millimeter between 1957 and '59, periodically expanded and updated over the following decades, and completed last year on video in a six-and-a-half-hour final version, Ken Jacobs's magnum opus of political protest is made of the same basic ingredients as the rest of his oeuvre: beautifully shot scenes of cavorting friends and comrades (including Jerry Sims, a pre-Flaming Creatures Jack Smith, and some recent anti-Bush protesters) and found footage (including most of Nixon's “Checkers” speech, campaign propaganda for Nelson Rockefeller, a fatuously racist documentary about Africa, and Al Jolson in blackface). Semi-indigestible by design, this nonetheless steadily builds in political and historical resonance.
Jonathan Rosenbaum

Here is an extract.

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