Brian Dewan Re-Invents The Filmstrip

The Filmstrip was no doubt originally invented by some kindly gentleman who wanted kids to be able to catch up on their sleep while in school. The darkened room, the white noise whoosh of the projector fan, the droning unadorned soundtrack, the hypnotic, repetitive change-the-frame chime, the boring and trivial subject material – all combined to lull entire classrooms of nine-year-olds into somnolence.

Brian Dewan, blessed with a subversive sense of humor and more talent than should ever be allowed to reside in one person, has hand-crafted a series of modern-day equivalents which, in many cases, provide simulations of filmstrips as they might have been created by paranoid schizophrenics given free rein to build the case for their delusions within the orderly, locked-up, relentless world of the filmstrip.

The art, the music, the writing – all brilliantly done by Brian – lift you into an alternate dimension that is as laugh-out-loud-funny as it is strange and unsettling.

You must see these – they are dark, hilarious, wildly entertaining pieces. You’ll want to keep this DVD next to the player so that you can present excerpts to unsuspecting visitors.

Sadly, the trailer below offers the only online samples from the disc, and while it captures the flavor of Brian’s remarkable artwork, it ignores the narration, with its deadpan humor, and the classic clunk-clunk-clunk of the filmstrip experience (it even adds camera moves on the artwork; what were they thinking?) and thus, it doesn’t even give you a hint of the delights that await you.

I would easily place this DVD in my top five of all time. I’ve been waiting for this DVD, hoping for this DVD, ever since seeing my first Brian Dewan Eye Can See Filmstrip. Best feature? It says “Volume 1″ on the cover.

Focus: The Collected Filmstrips of Brian Dewan (Volume 1)

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