I love, love, love that title:
Moon is the oldest TV…
Amanda Kim’s new documentary Nam June Paik: Moon Is the Oldest TV starts somewhere in the middle. It’s the 1950s, and within the first 20 minutes, we see the artist tranquilly playing a piano composition by Arnold Schoenberg, the Austrian composer who ushered in a new kind of musical modernism. It’s hardly the Paik most people know.
Paik’s wild videos, sculptures, and performances exude a madcap creativity that’s all too rare these days. And so it feels like a relief when, a few minutes later, Paik can be seen slamming his fist against another piano, creating jolting stabs of sound. That’s more like it.