Inspired by Ashley’s computer & television screen composite series, I combined some of my textures, a what the heck did my camera-phone capture this time, and captured transition shots from the 1935 movie The Ghost Goes West . The final result was a series of Screen Phantoms, ghosts of an old romantic comedy about a Scottish ghost seeking final rest, his look-a-like descendent played by Robert Donat , an American girl played by Jean Parker who convinces her wealthy father ( played Eugene Pallete ) to purchase a run-down castle.
This is a light whimsical movie directed by René Clair, but beneath the ghostly antics are foreshadows of America. The Typical rich American decides to move the whole thing to Florida as a showcase home to enhance marketing of his business. The Florida setting, distorted American interpretation of Scotland and “modernizing” of the castle ( radio in the knight’s armor ) and gondolas for a European touch seem like an anticipation of theme parks and the appropriation of culture for marketing & entertainment. In fact there is a brief scene suggesting that the British Parliament is upset at the loss of historical artifacts and a ghost. There is also a debate in American Congress about whether America should be welcoming foreign ghosts into the country – refugee shade or shades of refugees crossing over the waters,……..
Flickering images intended for a huge silver screen turn into digital pieces of data, stored and transmitted in a world where 1935 is a ghostly fragment of a now fading century. Recaptured and turned into content for another medium, they become frozen artifacts – ghostly images of another time and different media entertainment culture – looking back at us through phantom windows on our digital devices.