Beam Me Up, Joey

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Beam Me Up, Joey is essentially a short, stop-motion light show. A variety of people, presumably Joey and his friends, undergo a bizarre, ritualistic process of being wrapped up in various, brightly coloured lights, followed by a dazzling sequence of images that transforms the event into a sort of dream like dance. The majority of the film is recorded by a stills camera and then put together to make the extraordinary images on display.

This light fantastic performance is apparently inspired by the iconic Star Trek teleport effect, hence the name of the film. After being shown several variations of this hypnotic effect, the short then goes on to explore other amusing games to play, including throwing several definably 80’s cinema objects into the mix.

There is something very endearing about Beam Me Up, Joey that is rooted in the filmmakers ability to instil a real sense of cinematic wonder and magic into the viewer, which makes watching the film a real pleasure. Furthermore, its DIY sensibility is pushed to such a point that the film becomes more than any mere camera experiment or exercise, something that the film might be criticised for by some.

It is becoming increasingly clear that summer blockbuster juggernauts, for all their computer generated spectacles, are somehow lacking the simple wonder of early cinema. And yet a humble little film like Beam Me Up, Joey seems to capture that childlike quality and innocence deemed uncool by Hollywood. Clearly there is something about the use of practical effects and a DIY approach to filmmaking that still resonates today.

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