7.4/10
145
3 user 4 critic

Sonic Outlaws (1995)

Not Rated | | Documentary | August 1995 (USA)
Within days after the release of Negativland's clever parody of U2 and Casey Kasem, recording industry giant Island Records descended upon the band with a battery of lawyers intent on ... See full summary »

Director:

Craig Baldwin
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Cast

Credited cast:
Lloyd Dunn Lloyd Dunn ... Tape-beatles member
Chris Grigg Chris Grigg ... Negativland member
Mark Hosler Mark Hosler ... Negativland member
Don Joyce Don Joyce ... Negativland member
Doug Kahn Doug Kahn ... Himself
Casey Kasem ... Himself
Alan Korn Alan Korn ... Himself
Richard Lyons Richard Lyons ... Negativland member
Paul Neff Paul Neff ... Tape-beatles member
John Oswald John Oswald ... Himself
Josh Pearson Josh Pearson ... EBN member
David 'Weatherman' Wills David 'Weatherman' Wills ... Negativland member
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Storyline

Within days after the release of Negativland's clever parody of U2 and Casey Kasem, recording industry giant Island Records descended upon the band with a battery of lawyers intent on erasing the piece from the history of rock music. Craig Baldwin follows this and other intellectual property controversies across the contemporary arts scene. Playful and ironic, his cut-and-paste collage-essay surveys the prospects for an "electronic folk culture" in the midst of an increasingly commodified corporate media landscape.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Documentary

Certificate:

Not Rated
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

August 1995 (USA) See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono

Color:

Color
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Did You Know?

Connections

Edited from War of the Colossal Beast (1958) See more »

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User Reviews

 
An examination of the nature of art and the things we all create is food for thought
26 August 2007 | by dbborroughsSee all my reviews

Craig Baldwin's essay/documentary on jam/cut up/found art, specifically that of the audio visual sort. Beginning with the story of Negativeland's infamous record U2, made from a mash of Casey Kasem out takes and U2 and then examining and commenting upon the people who do this sort of collage art, their legal troubles as well as the art itself.

Made from found footage itself this is a dizzying trip for about half its running time as we are forced to examine and consider the nature of art, all art as well as what is fair use and what should and should not be covered under copyright. The problem is that about half way in the film begins to wear down you down as it seems that its running the same ground again and a again. Its not bad, and actually there are some great pieces in the second half like an explanation of collage's history, what happens when a montagist finds his lifted work has been lifted, and some good bits of art, but there is also a great sense of I've been here before. The up shot is that the euphoria of the early part of the film and its unique vision is replaced by just a mundane documentary.

Despite the fall off I can't help but recommend this film to anyone who creates, and who likes the mash up art that runs rampant on the Internet. You may not watch it more than once but some of the questions it raises will rattle around in your brain for a long time afterward.


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