Tuesday, August 28, 2012

#7 Rip! A Remix Manifesto (2008)

When I saw "Rip! A Remix Manifesto" for the first time it was at the Aarhus Film Festival. My first thought when I came out of the cinema was: I feel so happy and energetic! Exalted! I can't remember the last time I've been feeling like this coming out from a film.

The director apparently calls it an "open source documentary film about the changing concept of copyright". True. It's also one big feel good vibe that will rub your either the right or wrong way depending on which side you're on in the copyright debate. But most importantly it challenges the idea of very far reaching copyright with some very good arguments.
It's also a "meta movie", so to speak. Because it goes even further proving it's point by allowing creative people to remix the movie itself. And thus showing what good can come of letting go of too strict copyrights.

The movie exposes a lot of hypocrisy and has valid points. The Rolling Stones sued The Verve for ripping them off for "Bitter Sweet Symphony". But their whole career they have done nothing but ripping off the songs and sounds that originally came from the blues legends - who then again found their songs in the cotton fields. Disney is another example. First they "let themselves be inspired" and then they copyright. The just nailed it at the right time in history. Copyright was an alright concept at first - the film argues - but was then taken too far. It totally limits creativity.

The electronic act Girltalk is used as the example in the movie. He steals and samples everything and parties hard. I can't say I think his music sounds any good, but that's a different discussion. The film itself I find infinitely inspirational. For many reasons. One beautiful example being the moment where we see young Brazilian kids learning to sample and scratch in music class in school.

This film sparks an interesting and worthwhile debate in the age of the internet citizen and the digital artist. As did another film done by Danish journalist and filmmaker Ralf Christensen. His film "Good Copy Bad Copy" explores the exact same themes and uses many of the same sources, but takes a more sober approach, so to speak. Also recommended viewing!

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