This is kind of small and obvious, and yet it’s the kind of fleeting little art exercise that I love. It’s the reason YouTube is so great- there’s a platform for these kind of low-stakes throwaway visual ideas.

starwars6aIn this case you can watch all six of the Star Wars film run simultaneously, with soundtrack intact. Compare the ebs and flows of the films, soak in the differences in pacing, find the common points at which action escalates… even just a few minutes of clicking around the 2:22:26 timeline I found some satisfying little coincidences and juxtapositions. This is not dissimilar from The Shining: Backwards & Forwards (not really an official title, BTW) which has gained popularity with the buzz around the doc Room 237. In that case you can watch The Shining both backwards and forwards in an overlay and watch the spatial relationships and reflective juxtapositions that result. This isn’t quite that, but when just a moment of poking around results in, say, this frame in which all 3 prequels are in the middle of lightsaber battles while all three original films are in moments of great tension, release, or catharsis… well, it’s worth a few minutes of exploration at least.


If you projected this in a gallery somewhere, it would be considered fine art and a commentary on whatever. Here it’s a fun thing, but when you consider how many more people will experience this than ever would in a traditional art context, and the power that comes with the interactive timeline- that’s the kind of thing that conveys how powerful an infinite, interactive platform like YouTube is for modern art.

I just hope YouTube doesn’t bow to Disney and kill this- it’s fair use if I’ve ever seen it.

Anyway, new media tangents aside, I’m sure Star Wars fans will enjoy picking through it, and some of the more intrepid ones might even take the time to sit and take this in. Frankly, I’m tempted to do so myself.

Source | Total Film Twitter