Superman Redux

Copying your notes, or even a textbook, as a method of studying: it’s unclear whether it is effective. Artist Richard DeDomenici appears to have adapted the technique anyway, and taken it one step further. Using amateur actors, he recreated over a quarter of an hour of scenes from the much maligned superhero movie Superman IV: The Quest For Peace.


The artist went to the original locations where the movie was shot (strangely, Milton Keynes in the UK doubled for the quintessentially American Metropolis). Using local residents he restaged key scenes to celebrate the 30th anniversary of the film. DeDomenici has used the same artistic modus operandi on other movies as well, with great popular success. A success he doesn’t wholly understand himself: “People seem to prefer these cheap knock offs to the originals, it’s strange, I’m still trying to figure it out”.


Here’s a possible explanation. In recreating this Hollywood movie with non-professional actors, DeDomenici inadvertently stresses the utter artificiality of the Hollywood blockbuster stylings. The preposterous clothes one can blame on the eighties, but the excessively stylized bodily movements, the silly stressing of what should be small moments of reflection, the studied choreography of the extras… all these elements that go unnoticed (or are acceptable) in a professional production are revealed and ridiculed by this recreation. If you want to know just how artificial the Hollywood aesthetic is, well, try copying it in reality.