Rhyme 'Em To Death

1993, 10:33 min, b&w, sound

Rhyme 'Em To Death reconstructs the trial from Victor Hugo's Hunchback of Notre Dame from a new perspective, that of a minor character — the goat. The trial of the goat, a postscript in the Hugo novel, has been extended and enlivened with actual transcripts of 15th-century trials in which animals were persecuted as witches. Video effects alter the 16mm black and white film images, as if the remnants of a lost film had been discovered and pieced together by a video freak who attempted to faithfully reconstruct a lost art — the aural world of the goat, the distorted rantings of the court room, and blurred sound effects combined with a musical score drive the narrative to its tragic conclusion.

Performed by the Wooster Group. Director: Elizabeth LeCompte. Cinematography: Leslie Thornton. Editor: Christopher Kondek. Screenplay: Kate Valk, Marianne Weems.