Yesterday I discovered a page cataloguing dozens of Simpsons photographic references, all in one handy-to-browse location. What a resource! Many of the photos are iconic, but there are some obscure images too. Watching a full episode they would whizz right by even if you were wellversed in photographic history. I'm not sure who the target audience was. Maybe they were inside jokes between production staffers? For amateur photo junkies like me, the page is a gold mine. To whoever researched all those photographs, Thank You, Thank You, Thank You.
Of course the thing that got me thinking about all this was a Simpsons episode which popped recently up on the DVR, show #KABF02 from 2007. About 15 minutes in is a sequence in which Homer remembers his life in a series of still-frames from birth. It's a direct reference to Noah Kalina's Everyday video which circled the internet like wildfire a few years ago. The homage is spot-on, even down to the original music by Carly Comando.
Kalina's project is still going, by the way, updated here. In addition to The Simpson, it has spawned countless imitators which you'll find by typing "everyday" into YouTube search.
So the Simpsons re-interpreted a video of a person re-interpreting himself every day which has set off a mini-explosion of other re-interpretations. Are we keeping track of the iterations here?
Taking it one layer beyond, Kalina's project itself was a re-interpretation of the alltime king of daily photo diaries, Karl Baden's Every Day, running continuously since 2/23/87. Whereas Kalina added music and varying backgrounds to give it some crossover appeal, Baden's project is much more stripped down. It's Baden against a blank wall, no soundtrack. Harder to imagine a Homer homage.
I think these rephotographic projects are pretty fascinating, especially as they go on for years. Borderline obsessive maybe, but also strangely entrancing.
For some reason, neither the Kalina reference nor the O. Winston Link reference are cited on the Simpsons Park page. The Simpsons are vast. Every single episode has hundreds of cultural references, and huge gaps in the research remain. Can someone get on that?