Some Lost Advertisements

a production

Background

A 16mm film dual projection film by → ↑ → assembled and edited from 16mm reels of advertisements produced for Australian television in the early 70s. A cassette audio narration accompanies the dual projection.

Credits

Direction & editing - Philip Brophy
Narrators - Philip Brophy & Maria Kozic

1981

NEW MUSIC CONCERT - Clifton Hill Community Music Centre, Melbourne

1982

CONTEMPORARY MUSIC NIGHTS - The Mill Theatre, Sydney
TE VE TABU - Metro Theatre, Sydney
FILM AS ART- Victorian College of the Arts Gallery, Melbourne
Union Cinema, Adelaide University, Adelaide

Overview

From the original programme note

Probably the next major thing to 'personal experience' in the role of memory and perception in a person's life would have to be television advertisements. Viewing an old TV ad that has been lost in the memory of the past is the quintessential deja vu. The whole iconographic surface of the advertisements suddenly bursts into light of acute recognition, and with such clarity that it seems strange that you could have ever forgotten the ad if you can remember it so clearly upon seeing it again.

Some Lost Advertisements is compiled from footage from television advertisements from the very early 70s. The resultant cinematic event is an evocation of memory and a questioning of perception. In effect, the viewer is placed in the awkward position of trying to distinguish between perception and the memory of perception - not to mention memory and the perception of memory. The discursive text that accompanies the film theatrically enacts this dilemma, splitting the supposedly unproblematic concept of memory into two. In particular, Some Lost Advertisements deals with the ideological determination of the viewer within the context of advertising - both the viewer who is 'sucked in' by the ad text and the viewer who is not ale to be 'sucked in'. In reality, neither escapes.

Technical

Some Lost Advertisements came to be after a pile of boxes of 16mm black & white reels of TV ads fell into Philip Brophy's hands. After viewing all the ads, they were edited into sections, and distributed to two piles, each to be projected on a separate projector. Black spacing was spliced between each fragment of an ad. The result when projected is like flicking randomly between TV channels, displayed on two screens. The chance occurrence of image, sound, voice, music and silence compounds the collaged experience.

Having determined the final running time of 20 minutes, Philip then recorded a rambling casual conversation between himself and Maria Kozic 'remembering' the ads (which were for toys, cars, ice-creams, lollies, etc.). This improvised conversation is partially 'real' (the memories are actual) and partially 'unreal' (mouthing clichés of regressive nostalgia). The dual projection with the accompanied soundtrack of the conversation recreates within the gallery/cinema space the 'head space' of the viewer watching the projected imagery.