Today sees the beginning of the second annual London Underground Film Festival, a four day extravaganza exploring the latest weird and wonderful offerings seeping from the wounds of our collective audiovisual consciousness. In addition to live performances, retrospectives and revisited classics, the programme boasts a pair of Australian titles that draw upon underground traditions in video art and live music.
Pixel Pirate 2: The Director’s Cut is a glorious pop-culture mash-up which slings together a host of Hollywood imagery to create an acerbic, full-frontal assault on the culture industry’s obsession with intellectual property and copyright. Operating out of Sydney and Berlin, Soda Jerk (aka Dan and Dominique Angeloro) have previously drawn upon the practices of plunderphonics and scratch video in the creation of numerous video installations and performance lectures, with the specific aim of creating:
speculative narratives that revise and interrogate historical events and cultural trajectories. By atomising and reassembling recorded culture they aim to manufacture counter-mythologies of the past that open new possibilities for thinking the present.
And whilst that blurb might make Soda Jerk’s work sound like heady stuff, Pixel Pirate 2 is anything but academic rhetoric. Composed entirely of samples ‘borrowed’ from over 300 different sources, this riotous 52-minute work takes up an action/sci-fi/biblical epic aesthetic and features a team of lunar video pirates attempting to liberate recorded culture from the greedy clutches of an evil tyrant, none other than Charlton Heston’s Moses from The Ten Commandments (1956). Their plan? Travel back in time, abduct Elvis Presley and use his DNA to create a video clone capable of assassinating Moses, thus altering the course of video history – what else?
Pixel Pirate 2: The Director’s Cut screens (with Nick Ebeling’s short The History of American Movies 1974-2004) at the London’s Horse Hospital at 4pm on Sunday December 4, as part of the 2011 London Underground Film Festival. Advance tickets are £3.50 (or £5 on the door), or you can purchase a £10 Day Ticket, giving access to all five screenings/events on the Sunday.
Also showing at LUFF 2011 is a documentary portrait of Australia’s mangiest gang of musical misfits, 6ft Hick: Notes from the Underground. Dispelling every myth about the glamorous life of a touring rock band, the film ventures behind the scenes and deep below the surface as 6ft Hick – a mainstay of the Australian music scene for the last fifteen years – embark on a 6,000 km slog across Europe, playing 15 shows in 18 days.
6ft Hick: Notes from the Underground opens the final day of the 2011 London Underground Film Festival, playing London’s Horse Hospital at midday on Sunday December 4. Once again, advance tickets are £3.50 (or £5 on the door), or you can purchase a £10 Day Ticket, giving access to all five screenings/events on the Sunday.
The 2011 London Underground Film Festival runs from December 1-4 at The Horse Hospital (Colonnades, Bloomsbury, London,WC1N 1JD). Details of the full programme are available on the LUFF website and Facebook event page.