Rose Hobart: The Precursor to Fan Vids

The next film on our list is Rose Hobart, a 19-minute long experimental film that splices together clips from the film East of Borneo featuring Rose Hobart, with footage of a solar eclipse.

I don't necessarily understand the motivation behind the film, but it's certainly an unoffensive piece of cinematic history.  I sort of have a rule about experimental film, I'll watch anything you make and won't be too critical of it as long as it's short and sweet.  I don't have much patience for pretentious filmmakers who waste my time with their "artistic" opuses that cross the two-hour mark (Tree of Life, I'm looking at you), but it's hard to begrudge a filmmaker 20 minutes to try something new.

Supposedly Salvador Dali got all pissed off when this film was screened, because he had been planning on doing something similar.  He accused Cornell of stealing his dreams, an accusation only Salvador Dali could make.  And poor Cornell was so mortified by the experience, he rarely held public screenings of his work.  The art community is vicious.

And I actually do think this unassuming little film has been pretty influential.  You might call it the first fanvid.  Without this film, where would Youtube be?  As the story goes, Joseph Cornell found a copy of the film East of Borneo and after he and his brother had watched it a few times, he started cutting it down to just the best parts.  Most of which featured Rose Hobart, an actress Cornell had a bit of a thing for.

But my favorite part of the film as the last shot, when we see the eclipse and then it cuts to a stone falling in a pond in slow motion.  The ripples and the movements of the water are incredibly mesmerizing.  And I wasn't even high when I saw this!

Thanks for reading, and come back next time!

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