Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Ken Jacobs: Razzle Dazzle

Yerba Buena Center for the Arts

In the work of Ken Jacobs, ghosts of past cinematic eras come to life, celluloid and light achieve equal billing with narrative and the boundaries between re-enactment and historical document blur. In his recent masterwork of film-meets-digital transformation, Razzle Dazzle: The Lost World, a minute-long Edison short from 1903—a deliriously careening carnival ride, endlessly thrashing—crashes into the present day and lurches into three dimensions. Combined with archival sound and documentary imagery from the century past, Razzle Dazzle celebrates the potential of cinema while documenting and mourning the realities of history, exposing the at-times perverse conflations of entertainment, fear, excitement and violence inherent in the past century of image-making. (Steve Polta)

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