‘Retrocognition’ Wins at the First Annual MAshRome Film Fest

by Tom Tenney on June 18, 2012

I was recently lucky enough to be invited to be on the jury at the first annual MAshRome Film Festival in Rome, from June 6-10th.  While there, I was able to see some incredible film and video works that use mashup and remix, and I met some pretty incredible people as well, from Italy and around the world.   The winner in the MashPrime category was a remarkable remix called Retrocognition by Eric Patrick – a professor of film at Northwestern University in Chicago –  which repurposes old radio and tv sitcom soundtracks and mixes them with animation constructed of found images.  The result is a somewhat creepy look at American life and American media.

Below the trailer is the announcement of the winners in the three categorizes – taken from the MAshRome website, including my last minute speech, introducing Retrocognition, that I wrote on my iPhone in a taxi on the way to the awards ceremony.   Here’s the original post, and definitely check out their site at mashrome.org, for more information on this exciting new festival.

MashRome Film FestivalUSA, Germany e Russia Awarded at the first edition of MAshRome Film Fest !

Three Juries for three International Awards.

For MAshPrime, the International Jury, composed by Vladimir Alenikov, Tom Tenney, Andrea Contin and Marco Chiarini, awarded the film “Retrocognition” directed by Eric Patrick (USA)

For MAshNEw Experience, Alessio Bertallot (RaiTunes) at the head of the Jury, awarded the  film “The Week: a Remix In Seven Chapters  “ di Joanna Soyka (Germany).

Finally, for Talented Youth, Luigi Vernieri (IED) at the Head of the Youth Jury, awarded the film “Cabbagemincer” directed by Vadim Viner (Russia).

“‘Retrocognition’ is a film that presents us with an allegorical narrative by mining the archive of American media as its source. Director Eric Patrick used found clips of old radio dramas as the film’s soundtrack and found photos of real people as its visual starting point. The work accomplishes what I feel to be a key objective of mashing up and of remix: i.e. it allows us to look at these artifacts of American culture, bits and pieces that contribute to a global consciousness that is increasingly influenced by American media, in a totally new way. In the process the film also reveals an inherent darkness that exists in the original work.

Another thing I loved about this film is that it not only uses new technology to create what we think of as “remix” – a fairly new word in our vernacular – but it also reminded me quite a bit of the 1956 collage by British artist Richard Hamilton entitled ‘Just what is it that makes today’s homes so different, so appealing?’ considered by some to be the first work of Pop Art. In this way, the film situates itself not only among the best of contemporary mashups, but owes just as much to the rich tradition of 20th century western art as well. Even the fractured faces seem to pay homage to Picasso and William Burroughs at once. I think this film is a fantastic accomplishment, and I look forward to more work from this talented artist”.

Tom Tenney, Director of Re/Mixed Media Festival – NY (President of the MAshPrime Jury


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