Festival Of (In)Appropriation

What do a clip from an episode of Star Trek, a recording from the Joseph McCarthy trials during the Red Scare and an old Britney Spears music video have in common? They all appeared in the film Festival of (In)appropriation #8, featured in Colgate’s weekly Alternative Film Series. On Tuesday, March 22, students gathered in Golden Auditorium to watch the eighth film in the “Festival of (In)appropriation” series, in which the compilers release a new

collection of short films every year.  

The creators of these innovative films use different parts of pre-existing media, including clips and sound, to create short films that have new meanings. Some people consider these films “inappropriate” because they take pieces from other forms of media and create a meaning that does not reflect the intentions of the previous creators. This is why the film series is called Festival of (In)appropriation. This part of the series features short works from Australia, Argentina, Japan and Sweden.

Festival of (In)appropriation #8 is the latest film in the series. Every single work in the compilation was very unique, and watching all of the films back to back was very jarring. It was very interesting to see parts of works that I have seen before used in a completely different way than they were

originally intended. Some of the clips that the creators used were also very old, with one of the oldest coming from a 1912 film.

“It was interesting to see how the creators were able to combine very different pieces that already existed to form something completely new and original,” first-year Maggie McDonnell said.

Often, there was a distinct meaning that the viewers could pick out easily, but others had a more ambiguous meaning. One of the films that had an unclear meaning at first consisted entirely of sounds or images that stimulated the

audience’s senses.

“I really liked how a lot of the pieces utilized different clips from movies or TV shows or songs that would normally not be together. Even though I wasn’t familiar with any of the pieces, I could still follow a story line. I didn’t understand what all of them were about but I think that’s what a lot of the alternative cinema pieces are, not really understanding them and having to unpack what your thoughts on them are as you watch it,” senior Susan Price said.

The collection introduced most of the audience to a type of film that they had never experienced before, full of new meaning.