Von Trier, Bowie, Kanye (Notes on a Review and Three Rants)
This chapter discusses the circumstances around producing the video “Face Value: von Trier, Bowie, Kanye” (2015). The work began in 2006 as a text about the credits sequence of Lars von Trier’s film Manderlay. I trace that text’s subsequent revisions and contexts that led to researching rants by von Trier himself (Cannes 2011), David Bowie, whose song “Young Americans” is the soundtrack for the Manderlay credits, and Kanye West, a later artist known for making provocative public statements. In the process, the written work morphed into a text animation using Bowie, von Trier, and West quotes to underline how references to fascism, race, ethnicity, religion, and violence continue to figure in “controversial” public utterances by artists. I then return my attention to Manderlay’s closing montage, considering how its images relate to the sound, the authors’ perspectives, their possible audience effects, and the issues of race that sequence symptomatize.
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