video by isla hansen & james dewille
source material: Billy Wilder's Sunset Blvd, screenplay by Charles Brackett, Billy Wilder, D.M. Marshaman Jr.
What is most important to me about a work of appropriation is not just what it shares with its source, but how it differs from that origin--especially, perhaps, if that difference lies in how the work is made. In "Small Picture," Billy Wilder's film about filmmaking becomes a digitally edited file that reveals what makes the video medium so different from that of film: for one, the ability of this file to be re-edited and re-organized. But what also sets video apart from film is a feature that would have served the Police and news film crews in the last scene of Sunset Boulevard quite well, had it been available to them: the ability of the camcorder to go anywhere, and instantly. As James and I captured strangers reading from the last scene of the movie script for a series of unpracticed outdoor shots, the Hollywood starlets of Wilder's film are replaced by New Yorkers in Riverside Park.