Guadalcanal Requiem

Director: Nam June Paik
USA / 1977-79 / 28 min

PART OF ”WITH MUSIC BY…: A SISTERS WITH TRANSISTORS SERIES”

Last screened on Wed, May 5

One of Paik’s most overtly political and poignant statements, Guadalcanal Requiem is a performance/
documentary collage that confronts history, time, cultural memory, and mythology on the site of one of World War II’s most devastating battles. Guadalcanal in the Solomon Islands is the iconic setting upon which Paik inscribes symbolic gestures and performances. Scenes of Charlotte Moorman performing with her cello, sound effects by Laurie Spiegel, interviews with American and Japanese veterans and Solomon Islanders, and archival footage of the battle are juxtaposed, synthesized, layered, colorized, and otherwise electronically manipulated. The subtext of this extraordinary collage is Paik’s assertion that global conflict arises as a result of cultural miscommunication. Courtesy of Electronic Arts Intermix (EAI), with thanks to Karl McCool and Rebecca Cleman.