Sunday, October 19, 2014

documentary on skyjackers, "dial H-I-S-T-O-R-Y" predicts 911

Johan Grimonprez: dial H-I-S-T-O-R-Y, a documentary on skyjacking, predicts 911. More commentary to follow after watching film.
excerpts of some reviews:
«Dial H-I-S-T-O-R-Y» is a video film structured in two fifty-minute parts, presented in the form of an installation The guiding visual thread of the piece is the almost exhaustive chronology of airplane highjackings in the world. The soundtrack is constituted of a fictive narrative inspired by two Don DeLillo novels—«White Noise» and «Mao II»—which, for Grimonprez, «highlight the value of the spectacular in our catastrophe culture.» (...)
«Dial H-I-S-T-O-R-Y» blends photographic, electronic, and digital images, interspersing reportage shots, clips from science fiction films, found footage, and reconstituted scenes filmed by the artist. The work denounces the media spectacle and seeks to detect the impact of images on our feelings, our knowledge, our memory.
(source: Paul Sztulman, documenta X short guide)

HATJE CANTZ PUBLISHERS

Dial H-I-S-T-O-R-Y

A Film by Johan Grimonprez

Published by Hatje Cantz Publishers
Artwork by David Shea, Johan Grimonprez. Edited by Hans Ulrich Obrist, Hans Ulrich Obrist. Text by Don DeLillo, Vr‚‚th √≤hner, Slavoj Zizek.

Buckle up for a bumpy ride down history lane! Welcome to the world's first unofficial chronicle of international skyjacking. Acclaimed as the most exceptional entry at Documenta 10, this pre-September 11 documentary film takes you on an alternately frisky and subversive tour of terrorism: from the idealistic heyday of the romantic hijacker-revolutionaries of the 1960s and 70s to the state-sponsored anonymous parcel bombs of the 90s. Blending archival footage with personal home movies, this film investigates the media politics within the imagination of disaster. Inspired by Don DeLillo's novel Mao II, this project riffs on DeLillo's motif: "Home is a failed idea." Director Johan Grimonprez unwraps our complicity in the urge for ultimate disaster, as the spectacle of international terrorism and the desire for ber mayhem invades the living room and threatens our domestic bliss. An original soundtrack by David Shea accomanies this eccentric rollercoaster ride through history.

 Being deaf, I can only watch the films in caption or subtitles. However, I was able to watch the documentary in automatic captioning, in some of its parts on youtube, and they were inaccurate. I must say, as an artist and catastrophe theorist, It is important to see the appropriated, raw footage of people jumping from buidlings as those kinds of images are a forerunner to the scenes we see in 911. It is very interesting to note that it spoke that "Dog Lovers live longer than Cat lovers". I am not sure how that fit in the documentary. The use of vintage footage of a family enjoying a rich smorgasboard buffet of steak and lobster on the plane was a stark contrast to today's disgusting packaged airline foods was funny. A terrorist actually held a samurai sword to a pilots throat, lol. Back in the 60s and 70s it was "hip" in those arabian, eastern countries like Isreal to be terrorist hi-jackers and they were considered celebrities. Take Leila Khaled, for example. As a celebrity, a news report in her Isreal media would show her to plan her next 'hijack" with a facelift. Celeb Hijacker. whoa.