I had a good laugh watching this short animated film that won this year's Oscar for the category. The 16 minute Logorama (2009) features a Los Angeles made up of logos.
While some may find the movie's concept a bit gimmicky, there is some sense in how the directors portray this particular mecca of gloss and commercialism. And if you take into account how the movie's plot line follows the true-and-tested formulas of action films and disaster movies, with some emotional high points (if anything emotional can be squeezed out of a logo), you begin to ask how you are interpellated not just by logos but also by the cultural artifact that is Hollywood.
But do not get me wrong. The movie is no grim and determined critique of postmodern culture or how we are constructed by brands rather than by honest-to-goodness values -- although it is that too, if you think about it -- but a rollicking action slash disaster movie that will make you think. Watch it.
This was supposed to be bedside reading. Bad idea. Couldn't put it down soon as I got about a third into the book. But then, I should have realized that Nick Bantock just doesn't offer you a visual feast but also regale you with an intriguing tale.
The first time I came across Nick Bantock's name was when a friend got a copy of Griffin and Sabine, the bestselling epistolary novel as reinvented by the author. This was way back in 1991. I was blown away by the artwork, with the story literally unfolding as the reader goes through page after page of postcards and letters tucked in their envelopes. And it was no gimmick, too, as the "exotic" imagery of the postcards and letters fit neatly into the mysterious correspondence between the characters.
While The Venetian's Wife (San Francisco, CA: Chronicle Books, 1996) involves less reader interactivity -- with the catalogs and other artwork neatly incorporated into regular pages -- it is no less the visual treat and compelling novel.
You should get yourself a copy as I'm not giving any spoilers.
This is one track, with vocals by Santigold and with video culled from archival footage, from David Byrne and Fatboy Slim's Here Lies Love (Todomundo/Nonesuch Records, 2010).
"Through a series of songs written by David Byrne, with musical contributions from Fatboy Slim (Norman Cook), songs from Here Lies Love presents Imelda Marcos meditating on events in her life, from her childhood spent in poverty and her rise to power to her ultimate departure from the palace. In particular, the production looks at the relationship between Imelda and a servant from her childhood, Estrella Cumpas, who appeared at key moments in Imelda's life." (Here Lies Love, 2010)
David Byrne, in his Introduction, has this to say:
“The story I am interested in is about asking what drives a powerful person—what makes them tick? How do they make and then remake themselves? I thought to myself, wouldn’t it be great if—as this piece would be principally composed of clubby dance music—one could experience it in a club setting? Could one bring a ‘story’ and a kind of theater to the disco? Was that possible? If so, wouldn’t that be amazing!”
For some of us who grew up in Leyte, Imelda Marcos was this mythical figure we had to "slay" at some point in our lives. Now I have the soundtrack to go with the ritual purging.
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 Philippines License.