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Icarus Film
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CultureJam: Hijacking Commercial Culture
Directed by Jill Sharpe
Produced by Lynn Booth & Jill Sharpe
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film stillA new breed of revolutionary stands poised along our information highways waging war on logos and symbols. They're "Culture Jammers," and their mission is to artfully reclaim our mental environment by causing a bit of brand damage to corporate mindshare. CULTUREJAM: HIJACKING COMMERCIAL CULTURE punctures the illusion of free speech in public spaces, yet gives us new hope at the same time. Scream at the TV, but don't touch that dial! Yet.

We follow three outlandish jammers: media tigress Carly Stasko, Reverend Billy of the Church of Stop Shopping, and Jack Napier with the Billboard Liberation Front. Armed with anti-ad stickers, custom neon, and stuffed mice on crosses, these jammers hijack, subvert and reclaim corporate media space.

Ultimately Culture Jammers wage a war of meaning. They use the tools of the medium to re-wire the message. Will Disney's Mickey represent a "world of laughter" or will he become the anti-Christ representing "sweatshop labor practices." The verdict of public perception lies in a battle between billion dollar PR campaigns and guerilla tactics of rebel activists.

A relatively young movement, contemporary Culture Jammers first appeared in the early 1980s in San Francisco. But the court jesters of medieval Europe, and movements like Dada, Surrealism, and the Situationist International of Paris, as well as the recent range from punk to "post," all provide a philosophical lineage for this new brand of rabble-rousers.

Hard hitting, controversial, wacky and engaging, this film captures the drama of jammers in action and asks: Is Culture Jamming civil disobedience? Senseless vandalism? The only form of self-defense left?

"Highly Recommended! A thought-provoking video that… like the culture jammers themselves, aims to make people aware of and think about the omnipresence of corporate culture. Well-made and fun to watch, with creative camera work and editing. It would work well in educational settings where its message of personal over corporate power should provoke thought and discussion."- Educational Media Reviews Online

"Hearing all opinions is what democracy is all about. Besides, if you close your ears to dissent, you could miss out on the sharp, often funny documentary CULTUREJAM: HIJACKING COMMERCIAL CULTURE."- Marke Andrews, The Vancouver Sun

"A thought-provoking film that many teens will embrace."- Teen Screen Video Reviews

"Edgy and entertaining."- Journal of American Culture

2005 National Women's Studies Association Film Festival
2003 Society for Photographic Education Film Festival
Best Social Issue Documentary, 2002 Leo Awards
Nominee, Donald Brittain Award for Best Social Issue Doc, 2002 Gemini Awards
Audience Choice Award, 2001 Vancouver International Film Festival

52 minutes / Color
Release: 2002
Copyright: 2001

For colleges, universities, government agencies, hospitals and corporations

This DVD is sold with a license for institutional use and Public Performance rights.

Subject areas:
Advertising & Marketing, Business and Economics, Cultural Studies, Environment, Media Studies

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