Since the development of the talkies – at the latest – music and moving pictures have been inseparably fused together. Whether as an elaborate soundtrack to a Hollywood blockbuster or a dance routine in a film musical or music video – music and film belong together. This year’s Cologne Conference Kultnacht event is dedicated to music and presents two approaches to the combination of sound and film. During an interview with Saul Austerlitz, the man who literally wrote the book on music videos (»Money for Nothing: A History of the Music Video from the Beatles to the White Stripes«, Continuum Inter. Publis., 2008), our host Steve Blame will try to figure out the potentials and restrictions of the video clip. Afterwards, we will present two groundbreaking productions that transcend the borders of the classical music video: Spike Jonze’s „Scenes from the Suburbs“, a hybrid short film and epic music video for Arcade Fire’s album “The Suburbs”; and the footage of the Chemical Brothers’ spectacular Tokyo concert escalating into a visual and acoustic orgy of the senses.
Moderated by Steve Blame, author and MTV icon, Cologne
ARCADE FIRE: SCENES FROM THE SUBURBS
short film/music video, USA 2012, 30min
Dir: Spike Jonze
THE CHEMICAL BROTHERS: DON’T THINK
Concert film, UK 2012, 90min
Dir: Adam Smith
There will be a subsequent party at the kunstbar.
Summary of the new book of Saul Austerlitz: »Another Fine Mess – A History of American Film Comedy«
Charlie Chaplin. Buster Keaton. The Marx Brothers. Billy Wilder. Woody Allen. The Coen brothers. Where would the American film be without them? And yet, the cinematic genre they all represent—comedy—has perennially received short shrift from critics, film buffs, and the Academy Awards. Saul Austerlitz’s Another Fine Mess is an attempt to right that wrong. Running the gamut of film history, from City Lights to Knocked Up, Another Fine Mess retells the story of American film from the perspective of its unwanted stepbrother—the comedy. In 30 chapters, each devoted to a single performer or director, Another Fine Mess retraces the steps of the American comedy film, filling in the gaps and following the connections that link Mae West to Doris Day, or W.C. Fields to Will Ferrell.
Another Fine Mess is an attempt to rectify the legacy of inattention, by studying the American comedy film, not only as a worthy cinematic genre, but as a craft in which the members of the guild are influenced by their predecessors, and in turn, influence their successors. The first book of its kind in more than a generation, Another Fine Mess is an eye-opening, entertaining, and enlightening tour of the American comedy, encompassing the masterpieces, the box-office smashes, and all the little-known gems inbetween.