Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

Director: Ken Jacobs
Year Released: 1969
Rating: 3.0

Jacobs takes an innocuous, artless 8-minute Biograph short from 1905, about a boy who steals a pig at a fair and the crowd chases after him, shows it in its entirety ... and then proceeds to mangle the ever-loving shit out of it, zooming in, rewinding, fast-forwarding and manipulating the images until they look like flickering Franz Kline paintings ... before re-showing it in its 'normal' form at the very end. This is not exactly a 'fun' viewing and the flashing lights start to wear on the eyes, but what Jacobs is doing is breaking down the visual field of a movie and challenging the way in which a movie is 'seen' and 'experienced' ... and I'll be damned if the second screening of the original wasn't a different experience for me (or maybe I was glad I finally knew what I was actually looking at again). I'm not ruling out that this is all a massive joke on the audience ... which is fine, too (it was the late 60's after all).