Return to the Scene of the Crime

2008, 93 min, color, sound

Ken Jacobs writes, "In 1969, Tom, Tom, The Piper's Son seized me, with a new film (as I said then) almost incidentally a result. Placing the 1905 Mutoscope original in the computer allows for an unbounded freedom of study and playfulness. Now I seize the film, introducing a quasi-3D and strange time-dimension, the Eternalism. Far more is revealed (the stealing of the pig!) and, joined to sound, the old movie even tells a new story.

This is how the film begins, duck-on-a-leash to Little Bo Peep to the revealing of the too-busy full stage-set. Each gets their close-up and the many choreographed incidents happening together, and impossible to sort out, are given time out of the welter of events to shine. While it seems a mistake to break apart the wonderful muchness of the original, it's fun to see one action centered while others we've become familiar with repeat around it in the grand clockwork mechanism that is cinema. Actions made familiar take off into abstract permutations, veering in and out of recognition. God appears, centering the commotion, but splits when the crowd deserts his act to go after Tom."

Ordering & Fees

Educational Rental
Screening Rental
Digital File
BetaSP, DVcam, MiniDV NTSC
BetaSP, DVcam, MiniDV PAL
Exhibition Rental
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Educational Purchase
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Digital Beta NTSC
Digital Beta PAL


See also

2010, 303 min, b&w, color and anaglyph 3-D, sound