Robbie Parrish is at it again, kicking off season two of his hit internet video series Next To Heaven. You may remember that season one was loosely based on the comic strip Funky Winkerbean AND served as the basis for the hit movie Tron: Legacy. Quite the semiotic sandwich!
Rob’s work is video alchemy–he takes modern art videos and, through the process of “inverse editing,” somehow transforms them into old public domain films. Damn if I know how he does it. I asked him once, and he gave me a long answer, but when he talks he gestures a lot with his hands and I find that distracting. The gist (I think) is that he takes a small snippet of the video–sometimes an individual frame–and tries to imagine an old movie from which the snippet might have been cut. Then he actually creates the movie around the snippet, giving it an imaginary “original context.”
Given that most of what he does looks like it was produced 50-80 years ago, you’d think Rob’s subtext would be “history is a lie” or some other pointy-headed blather. But no–almost all of his work is a thinly veiled plea for pastry reform. Also, he wants the government to subsidize banjo research. Now that I think about it, Rob’s really got some issues. And he needs to keep his hands still! Dammit, that’s annoying.
Here’s a link to the first episode of season two. It don’t cost nothing, hear me? Yeah, you do.