Thursday, 25 September 2008

A different take on nostalgia

Last week, I wanted to show my brother the LEGO-reeanactment of the raising of the Titanic from the 1980 film Raise the Titanic, which I mentioned on this blog a few months ago. Sadly, the video had been removed by the user, but as it turns out there's a whole world out there of homemade LEGO-animations that depict the sinking of the Titanic, or that recreate scenes from James Cameron's 1997 blockbuster.

Call me crazy, but I was surprised at how unsettling I found those LEGO-videos. Completely unexpectedly, this 'LEGO Titanic'-video, with running commentary from the person who made it, really made me think of how harrowing it must have been for the 3rd class passengers who were locked in on the ship as it went down.

In a way, these videos remind me of Todd Haynes' Superstar: The Karen Carpenter Story from 1987, a 43-minute film that tells the story of Karen Carpenter using Barbie dolls as actors. The outline sounds ridiculous and laughable but I found it incredibly moving. Richard Carpenter sued Haynes and prevented it from being released, but (hurrah for the internet), you can download it from here. If you have the time/internet connection to do so, I definitely recommend that you watch it; it's an interesting experiment from a great filmmaker, that recently made it onto Entertainment Weekly's list The Cult 25: The Essential Left-Field Movie Hits Since '83 (although the picture they use is from the 1989 movie The Karen Carpenter Story starring Cynthia Gibb of 'Fame'-uhh, fame).

PS: I won't mention the video that recreates the 'Beverly Hills 90210'-opening using stuffed Babar-dolls, or the one where Babar and Kermit sing 'SexyBack'. No, I won't mention those videos at all..

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