A screening and Q&A with Benedict Seymour
Thursday, July 11 at 7pm
Dead the Ends
Dir. Benedict Seymour (UK)
2017, 106 min.
Dead the Ends is an exploded re-make of La jetée. It loots and loops fragments from the dystopian sci-fi derivatives of Chris Marker’s seminal short film and turns them into gifs. These are montaged into a new story, a meditation on contemporary capitalism as a kind of retrogressive “time machine.” Beginning and ending with the police murder of a young black man, Mark Duggan, the proximate cause of the 2011 riots in the UK, Dead the Ends appropriates a mass sms message sent by London rioters:
“Dead the ends and colour war for now so if you see a brother… SALUT! if you see a fed… SHOOT!”
In line with the rioters’ injunction, Dead the Ends imagines re-organizing the oppositions and conflicts that structure and (non)reproduce life in a self-cannibalizing capitalism. Conflicts organized around place, race, gender, sexuality, and class are put under the narrative’s micro- (and macro-)scope, while its form attempts to open up the financial and economic imperatives animating these. Dead the Ends takes a film about memory (La jetée) whose latent meaning has been all but erased through acts of homage, and “non-reproduces” it, harder, in the search for an alternative cultural economy of mourning and memory. A different kind of time travel, and a different order of “(un)happy ending.”
Engaging with recent theoretical reflection on the possibility of revolution in an era when capital closes its loop by shutting down social reproduction, Dead the Ends looks back to 2011, and the brutal restructuring of capital leading up to this insurrection, to explore another dialectic of looping and looting.