Enjoyed the performance by DJ Spooky at St George’s Hall last night. He gave a brief introduction, explaining that the original Birth of a Nation film was essentially a KKK propoganda silent movie made in 1915. For the performance he does live editing across three screens and music. I don’t go to many DJ events but I was really engrossed in this, the music was good and I think I learned a bit more about US history too.
Nearly 100 years after DW Griffith’s epic Birth of a Nation was released, DJ Spooky (aka Paul D Miller) has applied a “DJ mix” to one of the most revered and reviled films ever made. Miller’s reading of the overt racism depicted in a Reconstruction-era South hurtles Griffith’s images into the 21st Century, a socio-political landscape that has evolved beyond all expectations. Using cinematic history as the starting point for critique, not only of a horrifying past, but for a new vision that interrogates what we think of multi-culturalism, in a world that is rapidly becoming Americanised.