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Be Kind, Recycle (Film Footage)
June 27, 2009 10:12 PM   Subscribe

Sex Galaxy (trailer 1, trailer 2, NSFW) is a new film that claims to be the first "green film," as it is made of 100% recycled material. In an Wired article, director/producer Mike Davis discloses his film sources. "Boarded-up libraries, abandoned schools, decaying drive-in movie theaters…. These are the realms in which I unearth my wares," he said. "And actually, many of these films are available on the internet. You can find amazing collections through the Library of Congress." The Wired article notes that the recycled material isn't itself wholly original, and Bad Lit expands the history of film plunder further. Sex Galaxy is sourced from Voyage to the Planet of Prehistoric Women, which relied on footage from Voyage to the Prehistoric Planet, which in turn is sampled from the Russian film Planeta Bur. The history of film reuse is long and storied, and continues after the jump.

Roger Corman, known for his frugal use of props and footage, was the mentor to Peter Bogdanovich, director of Voyage to the Planet of Prehistoric Women (which Corman produced). Then there's Sandy Frank possibly best known for bringing live-action Japanese film to the United States, but reworked through editing and dubbing. 10 of his films received the MST3000 treatment.

Additional fun:
Internet Archive hosts Voyage to the Planet of Prehistoric Women (1967), Voyage to the Prehistoric Planet (1965), and Google Video hosts Planeta Bur (1962) in it's original Russian form, without subtitles.
Fugitive Alien and Star Force: Fugitive Alien II, Sandy Frank creations, were based on the 1978 Japanese series Sutâurufu (often called Star Wolf in the US). You can watch 4 of the original episodes online: Ep 1, Ep 2, Ep 3, Ep 4
The group These United States only used public domain footage for their video "Get Yourself Home."
posted by filthy light thief (17 comments total) 27 users marked this as a favorite

 
If you wanted to know how small - in reality - the Green Movement is you have found it in both trailers for Sex Galaxy.
posted by parmanparman at 10:18 PM on June 27, 2009 [1 favorite]


My favorite movie featuring recycled footage is Dead Men Don't Wear Plaid. Also good for the 6 Degrees of Kevin Bacon game, depending on how you bend the rules.
posted by ErWenn at 11:27 PM on June 27, 2009


Thanks, I'm looking forward to Planeta Bur'!
posted by languagehat at 5:55 AM on June 28, 2009


this is a cool post, thanks.

But doesn't Craig Baldwin's
Tribulation 99 deserve some mention? Or does Craig's original narration exclude this from being 100% recycled?
posted by I, Credulous at 7:01 AM on June 28, 2009


Oh man, that's some bad voice dubbing. Doesn't that technically make it less than 100% recycled?
posted by orme at 7:47 AM on June 28, 2009


orme - I was wondering that myself. I would have been really impressed if they could have actually found clips with appropriate vocals for their story. As it is, it's not a project of tape splicing, but creative editing with overdubbing.

I, Credulous - I fear I've left out a lot of interesting footage recyclers, but I got tired and wanted to share what I had so far. I'm assuming MeFites will provide more interesting examples.

ErWenn - Thanks for the reminder! IMDB's list of cast and characters includes folks who are in the archival footage.
posted by filthy light thief at 8:05 AM on June 28, 2009


There's a wiki page on Found Footage which I only now found, thanks to I, Credulous' movie reference. While the title may seem misleading, "found film" refers to "found object" art, where the artist re-appropriates an item not initially intended for artistic purposes. Many more interesting films, producers/directors and techniques discussed there.
posted by filthy light thief at 8:36 AM on June 28, 2009


Fantastic post. Flagged.
posted by dunkadunc at 8:42 AM on June 28, 2009


Down Memory Lane certainly isn't 100% recycled, but it might well be the earliest (1949) example of this kind of thing.
posted by le morte de bea arthur at 8:54 AM on June 28, 2009 [1 favorite]


Fugitive Alien and Star Force: Fugitive Alien II, Sandy Frank creations, were based on the 1978 Japanese series Sutâurufu (often called Star Wolf in the US). You can watch 4 of the original episodes online: Ep 1, Ep 2, Ep 3, Ep 4

!!!

This alone would make the thread for me. To think it was buried behind the More Inside link!

That is an AWESOME theme song. It's amazing how the goofiest costumes, props and special effects can be forgiven with excellent music. It's the Gerry Anderson theorem!

He triiiied to kill me with a forklift... ole!
posted by JHarris at 9:18 AM on June 28, 2009


not new.

Best reuse of a previously released film is still Woody Allen's "What's Up, Tiger Lily?"
posted by Artful Codger at 9:52 AM on June 28, 2009


I am embarrassed - or proud, whichever - to say that I actually own both Voyage to the Planet of Prehistoric Women and Voyage to the Prehistoric Planet and until now I could never quite figure out why they were so terribly, weirdly, eerily reminiscent of each other. I usually assumed that I'd put the wrong disc in. Ulp, but, well, in my defense, when those discs go in we aren't generally sitting in hushed silence waiting for the masterwork to begin.

Oh and to add another use of recycled film - Gamara. All Gamara movies (I have a lot of those too) use the exact same footage of a dam being blown up at some point during the nonstop action and witty dialogue that make Gamara movies so extremely awesome.
posted by mygothlaundry at 10:12 AM on June 28, 2009


Emile de Antonio's Milhouse is pretty great (as are most of his other documentaries).

TV Carnage is pretty okay.
posted by box at 10:16 AM on June 28, 2009


JHarris - I tried to search for more information on that show, but I don't know Japanese, which limits my understanding of (what I assume are) fansites. I found this string "今、スターウルフは燃えている~" on this short post about the show, and the trying to understand what the google translations of the search results was too much for my brain yesterday. I pass the torch to another to do a proper write-up on Star Wolf.
posted by filthy light thief at 1:57 PM on June 28, 2009 [1 favorite]


Wizard People, Dear Reader by Brad Neely is the best movie ever made (and is also recycled).
posted by unknowncommand at 2:20 PM on June 28, 2009 [1 favorite]


filthy light thief, I'd love to do a post on it. But this is literally the first thing I've heard of the show outside of MST3K. You can tell looking at it, even through Mystery Science's (wonderful) treatment, that there was an awesome show buried there.

I'll see what I can dredge up.
posted by JHarris at 7:51 PM on June 28, 2009 [1 favorite]


director/producer Mike Davis discloses his film sources. "Boarded-up libraries, abandoned schools, decaying drive-in movie theaters…. These are the realms in which I unearth my wares," he said.

With so many libraries facing cutbacks and closure, Davis should have a lot of new source material to mine in the next couple of years.

This is how I feel about that.
posted by safran at 8:25 PM on July 23, 2009


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