Tuesday night found me packed into an alt bau upstairs gallery in Berlin watching the debut of Soda_Jerk’s latest epic Hollywood Burn. The questions here are complex and timely – how – in a ‘post sampling’, ‘post purchasing’, ‘post copyright’ society do we negotiate rights, usage, ownership?
The response is artistic and joyful – a crazy mash up of wildly diverse iconic figures from Hollywood history – Elvis faces down Moses, The Hulk duels with Indiana Jones, and Adam West’s Batman fights off the shark from Jaws – leaving us wondering where ownership resides after the Hollywood star machine foisted new archetypes (carved from old archetypes) on us in order to sell action figures.
Without pirates, there would be no Keith Richards, and without Keith Richards, no Jack Sparrow… the list goes on – a point aptly made in a film which runs for 52 minutes and features a sample list that runs for eight. Even Jesus gets a cameo.
There are too many highlights to list, and while the trailer is below, I’m sure those of you are are willing to spend your time on the high seas will eventually plunder a complete copy. Soda-Jerk (and Sam Smith)’s skilful editing, musical savvy and comprehensive knowledge of pop culture renders Elvis dangerous again and makes Kubrick’s Space Odyssey apes breakdance – a feat appearing effortless and inevitable.
Perhaps this is the way Kubrick intended it to be. Or perhaps it’s just piracy. Either way, I feel better for having seen it. Which is more than I can say for all those episodes of The A team I watched as a kid…