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Second for second, the most cinematic excitement in Sundance

January 22, 2012 | 11:11 am

Evolution_Megaplex

Second for second, the most exciting film at the Sundance Film Festival is not on any movie theater screen: It's being presented at the fest’s New Frontier exhibition space and it has the daunting title of “Evolution (Megaplex).”

Created by video artist Marco Brambilla, director of the 1993 film "Demolition Man," this large-scale installation is hard to describe but delightful to experience. It’s a stereoscopic, 3-D video collage which plays onscreen like a moving tapestry, offering a wild abundance of arresting images during its three-minute span.

As stirring music from Prokofiev’s “Romeo & Juliet” plays on the soundtrack, looped segments from hundreds of Hollywood blockbuster films crowd onto the screen, arranged in roughly chronological order as a cracked movie history of the world.

Loops from 30 to 35 films are visible at any given moment, and viewers will recognize "King Kong," "Ghandi," the parting of the Red Sea from "The Ten Commandments," John Wayne in “The Searchers,” Clint Eastwood as Dirty Harry, even Elvis Presley in “Jailhouse Rock.” One of Brambilla’s favorite moments places the droogs from “A Clockwork Orange” on the Great Wall of China. The more you look at this video mural, the more you see.

Brambilla worked for a year on the project, which also appeared as part of a major retrospective at the Santa Monica Museum of Art last year. “It’s a spectacle, it’s supposed to be indulgent,” the artist said here. “Since it comments on content taking a backseat in movies, I thought why not go all the way and make it really bombastic?” Not to mention a whole lot of fun.

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–- Kenneth Turan in Park City, Utah

Photo: A scene from "Evolution (Megaplex)." Credit: Sundance Film Festival


 
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