Monday, March 3, 2008


The projectionist spliced film together randomly with the scraps he’d kept over the years.  Most of the frames were from the most forgettable parts of the movies:  car chases, aerial shots of cities, extreme close-ups of fingers, an occasional cameo by third tier actors.  He spent most of the night editing, and by morning he spooled it up and labeled it “Mankind.”


When it played at the Elm Avenue Art House a week later, the place was packed by the local film glitterati, believing themselves to be the cutting edge audience that was on the cusp.  The barrage of half-second images caused the ones that weren’t convulsing in seizures to vomit in their popcorn.


The press ate it up, calling it a “meta-movie experience not to be missed” and “the ultimate experiment in the field of the surreal.”


During its extended run at Elm Avenue, the projectionist watched every single night from the projection booth, laughing as the audiences spewed bile from their mouths or ran out of the theater, screaming.


“Mankind” had been unhinged.



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