Screen Phantoms

Phantoms 1

 

Phantoms 2

 

Phantoms 3

 

Phantoms 3trg

Phantoms qkw

 

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. 

 

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