Nam June Paik: Moon Is the Oldest TV [In-Person Only]
$14 General Admission
$7 NWFF Members
(Amanda Kim, US, 2022, 109 min, in English)
“The George Washington of Video Art” … “Cultural Terrorist” … “Citizen Zero of the Electronic Superhighway” … But who really was Nam June Paik, pillar of the American avant-garde in the 20th century and arguably the most famous Korean artist in modern history? Director Amanda Kim tells the story of Paik’s meteoric rise in the New York art scene and his Nostradamus-like visions of a future in which “everybody will have his own TV channel.” Paik’s future is now our present; Nam June Paik: Moon Is the Oldest TV shows us how we got here.
Kim’s documentary charts Paik’s artistic evolution by tracing his formative education in Munich and his life-changing encounter with avant-garde musician John Cage, through his immigration to New York City and collaboration with the seminal experimental Fluxus movement, into his revolutionary work with video art—including his radical public television broadcasts of “Global Groove” in 1973 and “Good Morning, Mr. Orwell” in 1984—and beyond, into Paik’s lasting influence on the art world and his predictions of our technological future.
Featuring an extensive archive of performance footage, original interviews from Paik’s contemporaries and collaborators, and a voiceover narration of Nam June Paik’s writings read by Executive Producer Steven Yeun, this film is a timely meditation on the contradictory ways in which technology elicits both fascist tendencies and intercultural understanding.
Synopsis courtesy of Greenwich Entertainment.
Key photo credit | Nam June Paik Archive at the Smithsonian American Art Museum.
Credit for photos of Paik with downward-facing hanging televisions | Photo: Peter Moore. © Northwestern University. Courtesy Paula Cooper Gallery.
Credit for photo of Paik with Philco Predicta | Photo: © Elliott Erwitt/Magnum Photos.
“Amanda Kim’s feature doc is as sprightly as the man whose life she follows. There’s an innocence here, and an enigmatic genius at play. … There’s a great deal of charm and humor to Paik’s work, and to this film, but it’s anchored by his perceptiveness and ability to contemplate weighty themes — and, yes, to anticipate the future. Paik’s daring ‘Good Morning Mr. Orwell’ live New Year telecast from Paris and the US at the start of 1984, anchored by an increasingly drunken George Plimpton, is a highlight of the film.” – Fionnuala Halligan, Screen
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