July 15, 2015

Teen Perspectives: PAMM Summer Teen Art Intensive: "Rabbit's Moon/The Remake"

Teens explore movie-making during a 5-day studio workshop with artist Felecia Chizuko Carlisle

While in Paris during the 1950's, Kenneth Anger shot footage for his avant-garde film called Rabbit's Moon, working with actors from Marcel Marceau’s school of mime. They enacted traditional figures from the Commedia dell’Arte (Pierrot, Harlequin, and Columbine).

The edited work was not released until 1972, and in 1979 was re-made into a shorter version by removing every other frame. It was also given a new soundtrack, replacing a series of doo-wop cuts with one single song from the 1970's called "It Came in the Night" by the Raincoats. This re-make foreshadowed and predated the popular "music videos" that would arise on the scene only a few years later.

Students of the PAMM Teen Art Intensive, ages 12-18, created their own set, replacing the "wooded glade" with a makeshift "cityscape". They opted to switch the characters' genders so that the clowns are girls and Columbina, the center of attraction, is a boy; the two muses became more androgynous. And lastly, they updated the music to contemporary soundtracks that they were all familiar with. 

In the spirit of Kenneth Anger, this workshop was an experience in celebrating the tradition of breaking tradition.