Published Jan 01, 2006
You might know Jim Munroe as a novelist. Or from his weekly video game column. Or his history in the zine world, or his burgeoning indie filmmaking. Too diversified? Hardly. Coming up out of the zine world gave Munroe the sensibility he needed to make his short film DVD-zine, Novel Amusements, the artsy, accessible treasure trove it is.
"There's a very distinct flavour of a certain kind of scene or culture," says Munroe about the community that inspired his new media zine, which he launched in 2001 as a CD-ROM. Novel Amusements Vol. 4: Tears on the Pie was released in late 2004 as a DVD (with the previous three issues of the zine as CD-ROM bonus tracks).
The videozine features animations and short films by a wide range of artists from so-called "real" filmmakers to people who've never worked with video before. Many of the contributors come from other creative disciplines.
"Seeing artists do stuff in video and music and basically applying the lessons they learned from doing zines and other parts of independent culture is interesting to me. Everybody writing books is not that interesting, but everybody doing all sorts of shit and reaching an audience is totally exciting," says Munroe.
The range of what you'll find in any issue is dynamic and occasionally bizarre. From art critic RM Vaughan putting on plastic animal masks to a music video featuring Peaches being embellished by overhead projector to a 16-year-old's home movie of microwaving his video camera, Novel Amusements bridges serious gaps between "art" and "life."
But why Tears on the Pie? "I've got a bunch of pieces involving tears and pie," Munroe offers. "When I realised that those two things, tears and pie, were the connecting things in the videos I had, it was like, wow." Novel Amusements is available on the No Media Kings website, nomediakings.org/getone.htm.