• Review: The Stolen Lyric (2016)

    From Mark R. Leeper@21:1/5 to All on Tue Jan 3 18:04:16 2017
    (a film review by Mark R. Leeper)

    CAPSULE: To all appearances this is not so much a film
    as it is a stunt to set a legal precedent. An entire
    animated film has only fragments of rock songs comprising
    its audio track. The audio track is 555 song fragments
    legally copied from 129 rock singers. Chase Peter
    Garrettson writes and directs. Rating: -3 (-4 to +4)
    or 0/10

    In its publicity THE STOLEN LYRIC promised to be unique and I
    cannot disagree. The film is an animated rock narrative set in
    modern times but loosely based on the story of Robin Hood, pitting
    a small rock band against the selfish record companies.

    That idea has possibilities, but what was done with it can hardly
    be called a possibility. The film's intention is to make a legal
    point about copyright law. As the providers say, "This
    transformative remix work constitutes a fair use of any copyrighted
    material as provided for in section 107 of the US copyright laws."
    So there.

    The whole enterprise is reminiscent of Mary Shelley's FRANKENSTEIN.
    The narrative is cobbled together from pieces of those songs that
    have come before. The resulting being is one of surpassing
    ugliness. When it is played cats hide and dogs howl.

    It is a story set to music but every time the speaker changes the
    music behind him changes so you get a nerve-jarring collection of
    song lyrics. There are 555 song fragments, many of which would be
    hard to understand so the filmmakers have mercifully subtitled to
    give the listener a fair chance. There are 129 artists whose music
    is quoted in this film. Just listening to the film sets nerves on

    The entire film has been put on YouTube to play without charge.
    The story itself seems to have visual references to the Robin Hood
    stories. The band members are Rob, Will Scarlet, LJ and Tucker.
    The last is an obvious reference to Friar Tuck, but though the
    original Tuck was an ally and friend to Robin Hood, he was not in
    Robin Hood's band of outlaws. These characters are in the modern
    Rob's band, but it is hard keep track of their characters'
    personalities since their voice is very different every time they

    If this film was made to set a legal precedent or to make a legal
    piece of humor, it probably was successful. If it was really
    intended to be an entertainment, at that it failed. Rating this as
    a narrative film I would give it a -3 on the -4 to +4 scale or
    0/10. But my guess is that that was not the point or the purpose.

    Film Credits:

    What others are saying:

    THE STOLEN LYRIC on YouTube:

    Mark R. Leeper
    Copyright 2017 Mark R. Leeper

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