I spent two months navigating file formats, codecs, compressions, freeware apps and the intricacies of Final Cut Pro for a new remix: Jen and Ang: Forget About Brad! The idea was to queer Jennifer Aniston, the actress most American women identify with, and Angelina Jolie, the actress most American woman secretly crush on*. I hadn’t decided on the narrative storyline bringing them together (Does Ang kill Brad to get to Jen? Is he two timing them both? Shouldn’t Jen be the one to get revenge?) before running into graver difficulties.
Building my clip database was easy and fun. I watched every recent movie the two actresses made like Mr. & Mrs. Smith (somewhat feminist, except for that violent sex scene. #FAIL) and The Break Up (not as much fun). I found it reassuring that Vince Vaughn acted like himself in both movies, and thus it would be easier to construct a narrative bridge between the two films.
Their differences made them perfect for queering: Jen is American Classic and Ang is American Cult. The good girl and the bad girl, the blond and the brunette, the single girl and the mother. They couldn’t be more different, and thus, perfect for uniting as one supreme fem-force. But suddenly, sitting in the sweltering heat of the edit room attic, their differences became technological and and their potential relationship formulaic. Jen was H264 and Ang was DiVx; rendering would have been a prick-le. Jen’s aspect ratio is 1.85 : 1 and Ang was 2.35 : 1. Cutting between the two in the prototype stage looked obvious, despite color correction and match on action editing. Could it be that not even remix could construct their relationships?
The sweltering heat in which I began Jen and Ange: Forget About Brad! has now left. Perhaps a season apart will help. My patience for the fem-force is waning, though.
*source: Marie Claire April 2009; I threw out the article accidentally and can’t find the link online.