The Horror

horror colour pic

Still image from a corrupted VHS video tape featuring  Marlon Brando’s head.

I remember my High School English teacher showing us a really terrible copy of Apocalypse Now by Francis Ford Coppola on VHS tape, that she had dubbed from a library copy.  I imagine the library copy had been played until it was ragged, since the result was like watching a kind of molten version of Hell.  Quite literally, the form becoming the content. The screening was to accompany our reading of Joseph Conrad’s Heart of Darkness.   At the time I was fascinated with how the video had added this horrific dimension to Colonel Kurtz’s (Brando’s) death scene.   Many years later when I was attending an artists’ film workshop at the Tate Modern on Corrupting the Image for film, I was reminded of the corruptibility of VHS tape, and went on a search through second hand shops for a copy of Apocalypse Now and  a few VCR’s.   Interestingly while the re-recording or continuous dubbing of the tape produced much the same molten images of Brando’s face that I remember back in high School, it took many many more dubs  to corrupt the soundtrack to a similar decayed state as the image.  (S.E.Lim)

The Horror (2008), 2 mins 22 sec.,

Editing and Sound design by Sandra Lim

Derived from 15 seconds of a VHS video tape of Francis Ford Coppola’s Apocalypse Now (1979)

Corrupted VHS Video and Digital Video Editing (Final Cut Pro)

Originally workshopped at the Tate Modern, Artist filmmaker workshops, London UK

Corrupting the Image Workshop with Film Co-op

“A fragments of a fragment, best describes this appropriated bit of blockbuster film on VHS home video tape, which takes an iconic moment from Coppola’s “Apocalypse Now” and intensifies it through multiple copies and degradation to the point of near obscurity.  The resulting decayed video image functions not only to mirror and intensify the cinematic character’s death-throws but also serves as a reminder of the demise of VHS video tape and corner store movie rentals, in the face of  digital film consumption.”


Videophile Video Art Festival 2008
Phoenix Gallery Brighton, UK
12 Oct at 3pm – Videoclub : Fragments Program, Brighton UK

Guli Silberstein – REMAINS Fragments and distortions, filters and reappropriated imagery comprise this surprising collection of moving image works. Found footage and original recordings are dispersed with twisting narratives. Bare and latent concepts, and intertwining philosophies appear to comment on violence, consumerism, and other fragmented human actions. Broken repetitions in The Horror and Ozymandias are unsettling whilst poetic, whereas FIXC’s and Nilsson’s films provide us with octane-driven feasts that comment on consumerism and our fixation with popular culture.

Artists include: Sandra Lim, Dave Griffiths, Paul Gittins, Jonas Nilsson, Guli Silberstein, Anders Weberg and FIXC.

Phoenix Brighton, 10-14 Waterloo Place, Brighton BN2 9NB, UK

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