Cage Does Cage: Watch Nicolas "Perform" John's Landmark Composition

Brow Beat
Slate's Culture Blog
April 10 2012 1:04 PM

Did You See This? 4'33" of Silent Nicolas Cage

Silent Nicolas Cage
A still of Nicolas Cage being silent in "Cage Does Cage"

When Slate film critic Dana Stevens considered "the baroque, hyper-mannered performances" of Nicolas Cage two years ago, she noted a common thread in the high and lowbrow projects he pursued (he rarely goes in for straight middlebrow drama, she pointed out). "Both," Stevens argued, "evince the taste of a man drawn to extremes of experience."

Now the artist Adam Lucas has isolated an extreme element of Cage's performances that rarely elicits critical comment: total silence. Lucas strung together four minutes and 33 seconds of wordless moments from across Cage's oeuvre to create a "performance" of John Cage's landmark experimental composition, 4'33". Even when he isn't speaking, the "mannered weirdness" of Nicolas Cage comes through loud and clear. Enjoy.

David Haglund is a senior editor at Slate. He runs Brow Beat, Slate's culture blog.

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