Museum Night, Amsterdam – Saturday 3rd November: The Hunchback of Notre Dame – Remixed, Re-edited, Re-scored, Re-told – ‘A movie mash-up for the modern viewer’ by ‘The Smoke Eaters’

09-21-2012  |   15:41 PM

‘The Smoke Eaters’ are two audio/visual artists and DJs (Simon Melia and Paul Jay) that take elements of the last 100 years of popular culture and re-edit them with cutting-edge underground dance music. Film, television and music videos are given new interpretations, designed to wow audiences with a ‘what you see is what you hear’ philosophy. This has already seen them performing at major festivals and venues worldwide such as Glastonbury (UK), Sziget (Hu), Splore (NZ), Oxegen (IRE), Razzmatazz (Es) and in their home base city of Amsterdam at Paradiso.
hunchback Notre Dame Pictures, Images and Photos
It was through their enthusiasm for Paradiso programmer, Maz Weston’s long running “Rocket Cinema” project (where artists and musicians re-score classic films) that she invited them to take the concept one step further for Rocket Cinema’s participation in the 2012 edition of Amsterdam’s “Museum Nacht”.the hunchback of notre dame Pictures, Images and Photos
The design brief that they were given was deceptively simple: Compact, re-tell and re-score ‘The Hunchback of Notre Dame’ using the various interpretations produced through-out the 20th century. The earliest version dates back to 1923 and the most recent was a nineties Disney animated musical!HunchBack of the Notre Dame Pictures, Images and Photos
The creative process itself became a voyage of discovery. The lengthy task of cutting up the various films in order to create a modernised tale forced the audio/visual duo to re-examine the story. It meant taking the strongest characters from each version to develop a piece of contemporary ‘Pop Art’ that would compact into the allotted half hour’s “show-time” whilst maintaining the narrative flow and holding the audience’s attention.
It was a challenge in itself to take modern film making and editing techniques, not to mention a contemporary sound-track, and apply them to what can only be described as cinematic history. To make, for example, an eighty-nine year old piece of cinema (the earliest version) relevant to a 2012 audience required many a session of ‘brain storming’. Ultimately though, The Smoke Eaters feel that the audience will forget their awareness of the cutting and interlacing of the five different versions used, but maintain this enough to view the story in a refreshing manner. This was their ultimate intention.
On ‘Museum Nacht’ (Saturday 3rd November 1900-0100 pm) two showings will take place in the appropriately Gothic setting of the ‘Oude Kerk’, in the heart of Amsterdam, where all the ‘Rocket Cinema’ artists will be performing or showing their work. More details of the schedule will follow soon.

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