Ken Jacobs and Early Cinema Studies
An evening devoted to Ken Jacobs’ avant-garde classic Tom, Tom the Piper's Son (1969-1971). The films in this programme point out the great significance of this film for the re-appraisal of early cinema and its impact on contemporary experimental film.
In Tom, Tom the Piper”s Son, Jacobs refashioned the film of the same name by camera man Billy Bitzer (1905). As a teacher, Jacobs came across an archival print of the film and was stunned by its unconventional editing, which made it difficult for the viewer to separate the central action from the protagonists. To get to grips with this extraordinary format, Jacobs began projecting the film backwards and forwards at variable speed on a projector. The material that was filmed during these sessions resulted in his exuberant, transcendental work Tom, Tom the Piper”s Son.Jacobs” film is universally praised as having occasioned a paradigm shift in the way film historians approach early cinema. Initially regarded as “primitive” cinema which only served to pave the way for the later, more mature film art, early cinema now received its rightful place in film culture.ProgrammeTom, Tom the Piper's Son (1905)Correction Please; or How We Got Into the Pictures [fragments] (Noël Burch, UK, 1979)Coming Attractions (Peter Tscherkassky, Austria, 2010)Tom, Tom the Piper's Son (Ken Jacobs, US, 1969-71)The programme is introduced by Christian Gosvig Olesen, PhD candidate at the Amsterdam School for Heritage and Memory Studies, University of Amsterdam, Media Studies department.
Share your love for film and become a member of the Eye Society.