Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son (film)

Last updated
Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son
Directed by Ken Jacobs
Distributed by The Film-Makers' Cooperative
Release date
  • 1969 (1969)
Running time
115 minutes
CountryUnited States

Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son is a 1969 American experimental film made by Ken Jacobs. [1]



The 1969 film uses the 1905 film of the same name as its source material. Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son (1969) 1.jpg
The 1969 film uses the 1905 film of the same name as its source material.

In a meticulous experiment in rephotography, Jacobs deconstructs, manipulates, and recontextualizes a small fragment of found footage: a 1905 film showing a group of people chasing a thief through a barn, (shot and directed by G.W. ‘Billy’ Bitzer), [2] rescued via a paper print filed for copyright purposes with the Library of Congress," according to Jacobs. [3] Jacobs' refashioning of the footage is an essayistic meditation on the nature of cinematic representation; in the words of Chicago Reader critic Fred Camper, it is "a film about watching movies." [4]


The film is considered a landmark in avant-garde and structural filmmaking, and remains Jacobs' best-known work. [4] It was inducted to the National Film Registry in 2007, and is part of Anthology Film Archives' "Essential Cinema" repertory. [5]

See also

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  1. Artfourm
  3. Anthology Film Archives: Film Screenings
  4. 1 2 Chicago Reader
  5. Anthology Film Archives: Film Screenings