Saturday, February 18, 2012

Alien Workshop's "Memory Screen" (c. 1991)

Alien Workshop's Memory Screen wasn't just another skateboard video; it was (and still is) a work of art. Released in 1991, this groundbreaking video opened the door to the transcendent "arty" skateboard video genre (ex. Stereo's Tincan Folklore and Foundation's Artbars: Subtitles and Seagulls), and featuring the stellar talents of Rod Dyrdek, Duane Pitre, Scott Conklin, Steve Claar, etc. between halcyon images of seagulls flying, old men ambling along and stop motion vignettes. Released the same year the "Citizen Kane of skateboarding" (Blind's Spike Jones-directed Video Days) came out, Memory Screen was a cut-n-paste video collage from the mind of Neil Blender (who else?) of grainy Super 8, video-on-video, and found images set to a soundtrack of Dinosaur Jr, Pain Teens, Blender's band, Toxic Death Sentence (one of the best band names in indie-rock history, by the way), and found-sound recordings. To this day, Memory Screen remains one of my absolute favorite films of all time.

"Ain't Life Grand"

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