Tuesday, March 20, 2007

YouTube Tuesday: Once Upon a Time in a Cage

I'm not so sure how I feel about mashup culture.

On the one hand it seems like cheating, especially in artistic endeavors, to take two (or more) works completed by someone else, combine them in some way and call it a new work of art. I mean, if I drew a beard and mustache on the Mona Lisa, that's just vandalism, right?

It just seems to signify a lack of original thought that is becoming epidemic in our culture.

But on the other hand, there are examples like today's YouTube Tuesday entry. YouTube member jthelms has taken scenes from one of my favorite westerns, Once Upon a Time in the West, and added a soundtrack from Canadian indie rock group Arcade Fire's My Body is a Cage.

The result approaches sublimity as the haunting mood of the chords make a perfect complement to the beautiful scenes of Sergio Leone's cinematography. I've watched this at least a dozen times and it still seems fresh and important to me. Let me know what you think.

tagged: , , , , , , , , ,

1 comment:

  1. Beautiful. Leone to my mind always seems as though he's shooting with music in mind to begin with, and Arcade Fire's song has the grandeur--not to mention the tempo--of Morricone's scores for Leone's films. But what makes it go is the careful syncing of image with music

    I don't mind mash-ups, personally. The history of literature is essentially a history of mash-ups, after all (with names and settings changed), archetypally-speaking. But I do mind badly-done ones. Ones done for a joke don't bother me, but they don't exactly linger in the mind. As is the case with literature, I would think that the better mash-ups actually lead us to see each original in a new way. I'd say this is a good one.


Your turn to riff...