Which Side of the Ideas War Are You On?
Join web activist and filmmaker Brett Gaylor as he draws the battle lines against big business in this edgy documentary that questions the very nature of capitalism today.
Exploring issues of copyright freedom in the information age and mashing up the present day media landscape, RiP shatters the wall between content producers and the consumer.
In the tradition of “The Corporation” and backed by a killer soundtrack, RiP has been hailed as by critics world wide as “truly brilliant” and “seriously amazing”.
Acclaimed by critics around the world
Bill Brownstein, Montreal Gazette:
“[A]bout as edgy and fascinating a glimpse you’ll get into one of the more pressing issues of our Internet Age.”
Dominic von Riedemann, suite101.com:
“Whether you agree or disagree wit RiP: A Remix Manifesto, it raises disturbing questions about the ownership of intellectual property versus the free exchange of ideas. It’s continually engaging, delivering its message with quick cuts and a dry wit.”
Jason Whyte, eFilmCritic:
“Brett Gaylor’s fascinating documentary on the digital age, rights management, fair use, and – most importantly — how mashup sensation Gregg Gillis (aka Girl Talk) figures into all of it, could have been your standard, run of the mill documentary featuring a slew of talking heads and narration. That is here, to be sure, but it is done at such a high energy level with such dramatic care and passion that it makes the film an exciting event not to be missed. *****”
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Andrew L Urban, Urban Cinefile:
“I won’t waste your time on arguing the case; this is a film review, and as a piece of polemic, it’s a well worked doco, using energy, narration and home video style footage to ram home the message. Pity the message is flawed – even if it based on Professor Lawrence Lessig’s work, questioning whether the technology should be allowed to make people copyright criminals. Wrong question.”
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Jody Macgregor, Rave Magazine:
“If you believe documentaries should be objective and not push their own opinions, RiP! isn’t for you. If you prefer a subjective viewpoint that states its bias, it very much is. This documentary explains its manifesto in point-form within the first 10 minutes. Film-maker Brett Gaylor passionately argues for the rights of remixers and copyright violators because he’s a fan of mashup artist Girl Talk, who forms the centre of his movie.”
Amy Wheeler, Filmink Magazine:
“RiP: A Remix Manifesto challenges the viewer to think about the issue of copyright in the information age, where the creative process has been irrevocably altered… A documentary that has style, spunk and relevance.”
Amy Wheeler, Filmink
Montreal filmmaker Brett Gaylor has created a controversial documentary about a “war over ideas” with the internet as the “battleground”. RiP: A Remix Manifesto challenges the viewer to think about the issue of copyright in the information age, where the creative process has been irrevocably altered.
The film revolves largely around Girl Talk (aka Gregg Gillis), a mash-up musician taking the music industry by storm with his creative hip hop tunes comprised of collages of music from others artists. Gillis’ music is considered illegal by an industry that refuses to evolve; Gillis, however, doesn’t think that he’s doing anything wrong.
In a documentary that has style, spunk and relevance, Gaylor broaches topics such as the “unhealthy” public domain, the concept of “fair use” and intellectual property. His view is that creativity is being stifled by copyright law, which ironically was originally enacted to foster creativity.
As a mash-up of its own, Gaylor shared his raw footage at his website opensourcecinema.org for anyone to remix, and those remixes actually form an integral part of the film.
RiP is structured around its subtitle. The manifesto is: “Number one: Creativity always builds on the past. Number two: The past will always try to control the future. Number three: Our future is becoming less free. Number four: To build something free, you must limit the control of the past.”
The film includes commentary from Lawrence Lessig, who Gaylor calls the country’s “coolest lawyer”; award-winning blogger and essayist Cory Doctorow; world-class musician Gilberto Gil; and Dan O’Neill, a quirky seventies underground cartoonist whose Mickey Mouse spoofs landed him in The Supreme Court. Gaylor unfortunately fails to provide any pro-copyright representatives to counteract their strong views, however, causing the doc to have a clear leftward lean.
Popcorn Taxi writeup
In RiP: A Remix Manifesto, Web activist and filmmaker Brett Gaylor explores issues of copyright in the information age, mashing up the media landscape of the 20th century and shattering the wall between users and producers.
The films central protagonist is Girl Talk, a mash-up musician topping the charts with his sample-based songs. But is Girl Talk a paragon of people power or the Pied Piper of piracy? Creative Commons founder, Lawrence Lessig, Brazils Minister of Culture Gilberto Gil and pop culture critic Cory Doctorow are also along for the ride. From The Stones and Zeppelin ripping-off the Blues (and The Stones eventually suing The Verve) – to the frustation and legal issues surrounding underground act ‘Negativeland’ – not to mention that incident with Metallica and even good ‘ol Walt Disney… this doco has it all.
A participatory media experiment, from day one, Brett shares his raw footage at opensourcecinema.org, for anyone to remix. This movie-as-mash-up method allows these remixes to become an integral part of the film. With RiP: A Remix Manifesto, Gaylor and Girl Talk sound an urgent alarm and draw the lines of battle.
Which side of the ideas war are you on?
A tight, entertaining, visceral and explosive documentary fresh from 2009 SXSW film festival that names names, examines the facts on copyright law and the ambiguity throughout time and the methodology of commerce versus creativity while pondering the ultimate question: when is art not art?
Acclaim Magazine’s Callum Vass interviews director Brett Gaylor
“It’s not my role to be neutral, that’s the role of a journalist. I made a manifesto, which is not a balanced statement. It’s a call to arms.” Brett Gaylor
Rip: A Remix Manifesto is Canadian director Brett Gaylor’s 21st century call to arms. Centered around the sample-based phenomenon that is Gregg Gillis, know to his legions of fans as Girl Talk, this documentary tears up both the establishment and movie conventions. From the White House to the favelas of Brazil and from Disneyland to Coachella, the film dissects what it truly means to be original and the level of hypocrisy often executed when punishing both artists and consumers alike.
Assembled together over a six-year period, Rip also takes audience involvement to a new level through his Open Source Cinema project, which pieces together contributors across the globe, making the film a unique experience and manages to captivate the energy of his subject. Gaylor is currently touring the globe promoting the film.
This review first appeared in Acclaim Magazine