When People Like Us & Ergo Phizmiz premiered The Keystone Cut Ups at the Berwick Film and Media Art Festival in 2010, it was met with praise and wonder. Invoking a dreamlike atmosphere from the pairing of surrealist avant-garde cinema and silent-era comedy films with the quirky, yet emotionally resonating soundtrack carved out a unique sector of musical entertainment. This project stands tall as a statement against an industry that often flounders in its own creative bankruptcy.
Until now, this experience has only been available to those fortunate enough to see it performed live. But this October, people all over the world can see what all the hype is about for themselves when Illegal Art releases The Keystone Cut Ups on DVD, as well as just the musical portion as a digital download and as a 7' single.
The festival commissioned the project in July of 2010 as an attempt to achieve something that would excite audiences in ways they were never expecting. People Like Us & Ergo Phizmiz composed forty-five minutes of music that is simultaneously whimsical and poignant. Once the soundtrack was in place, visuals were assembled around the audio in order to create a stimulating assault on the mind that evokes a sense of the surreal and fantastical.
"This work explores the relationships between early silent-comedy and early avant-garde cinema," said Vicki of People Like Us. "Using the influence of slapstick comedy on the Surrealists as a starting point, the pieces, through video-collage, combined with a musical score, reflect simultaneously upon the histories of two distinct schools of cinema, whilst producing a series of new works informed by both silent comedy and 'art' cinema."