»Gertie, be a good girl and bow to the audience.« »The beast looked upon the face of beauty, and beauty stayed his hand. And from that day forward, he was as one dead.« »Welcome to Jurassic Park!«
In her video essay, film maker and author Anna Zett mirrors the institution of the cinema with its genre of dinosaur and King Kong films. From the early days of cinema with animation and stop motion to the digital breakthrough in the 1990s, the artist shows us the various stages of this multifaceted world of screenland. Besides Steven Spielberg’s Jurassic Park (1993) and Joe Johnston’s sequels, classics like Gertie the Dinosaur (1914) and King Kong (1933) must not be omitted – all of them made using the most advanced technology of their time.
Technology is also the star of Zett’s video. Not only as its theme but in its structure: She works with a series of GIF-images, each with its own commentary, which in a programme scroll upwards one after the other and act as a media-aesthetic framework. The presentation of the dinosaurs is to be seen somewhat contradictorily: On the one hand Zett’s work presents them as relicts of prehistoric times, on the other as the emblem of the latest technology, as, for example, in Spielberg’s science-fiction-horror film. Will the new technology triumph over the older one? Will the plot be destroyed by new filmic technologies? These are the questions the artist asks in Dinosaur.gif, a homage to screenland but also a form of nostalgic criticism on the modernisation of film. (Xhesika Hoxha)