FILM COMMENT - JULY/AUGUST 2011
VDB.ORG - Halflifers: The Complete History, 1992-2010
LIKE Jackass FOR THE GUGGENHEIM,
Anthony Discenza and Torsten Zenas Burns's
collaborative project, Halflifers, is a lo-fi series of Knoxville-esque camcorder stunts wrapped up in arts-grant language. "An ordinary domestic setting is recast as a psychoactive landscape in which the concept of function becomes situational and fluid." Translation: they smear food on each other in the kitchen. With a proclivity for hazmat suits, the media art duo perform poorly staged action scenes that repeatedly disintegrate into accidental slapstick. But their series, Afterlifers: Walking & Talking, with the duo playing zombies in a riff on Romero, achieves real frisson. Footage of the things zombies get up to when no one's watching is interwoven with a dead-on parody of the end-of-the-world panel discussions from Dawn of the Dead. It's proof that while zombie movies may have moved from the grindhouse to the arthouse, no amount of irony can prevent the image of the zombie from instilling viewers with Pavlovian dread.
FILM COMMENT MAGAZINE: HALFLIFERS DVD REVIEW
Posted by Torsten Zenas Burns at 9:53 AM