Dir. Amanda Kim
2023, USA, 107 min
English, German and Korean with English subtitles
The father of video art and coiner of the term “electronic superhighway,” Nam June Paik was one of the most influential artists of the 20th century. Born in Japan-occupied Korea, Paik studied as a classical musician before moving to Germany in the 1950s. Forever changed after encountering avant-garde composer John Cage, Paik became a member of the influential experimental art movement Fluxus, which created new forms of art and performance. Eventually immigrating to the United States, he became fully engaged with television and video art in a way that would revolutionize how the world thinks of image-making in the electronic age.
First-time feature director Amanda Kim tells the remarkable story of Paik as a citizen of the world and trailblazing artist, who both saw the present and predicted the future with astonishing clairvoyance. With Steven Yeun reading Paik’s own written words — showcasing the artist’s strategic playfulness and immense creativity — Nam June Paik: Moon is the Oldest TV is a celebration of perhaps the most modern artist of all time.
Presented in partnership with send + receive: a festival of sound.
Paik’s light-heart spirit does thrum through these minutes, exciting our eyes not only by way of Paik’s self-deprecating humor, but his philosophical musings and his inventive spirit.
– Robert Daniels, RogerEbert.com
There’s a great deal of charm and humour to Paik’s work, and to this film, but it’s anchored by his perceptiveness and ability to contemplate weighty themes – and, yes, to anticipate the future.
– Fionnuala Halligan, Screen International