22.04. ‐ 27.04.2025
Nam June Paik: Moon Is the Oldest TV

Nam June Paik: Moon Is The Oldest TV

Amanda Kim

Years before The Buggles proclaimed "video killed the radio star" on MTV, a Korean music student had set out to understand, ridicule, and destroy the medium of video from within. Equipped with the radical attitude of the avant-garde and inspired by countercultural figures like John Cage, video artist Nam June Paik waged a bitter battle against the self-proclaimed "high arts" and their Eurocentric, elitist arrogance. At many points, he proved to be an exceptional talent with a forward-thinking understanding, as exemplified by his formulation "Moon is the oldest TV," suggesting that there is always an element of lunar obsession when staring at the television after work. He sought to counter this passive consumption by questioning the authority of the flickering image, thereby empowering the moonstruck audience with a degree of agency.

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Direction Amanda Kim
Country USA
Year 2023
Duration 107 min
Language English, German, Korean with English subtitles
Production Amanda Kim, David Koh, Mariko Munro, Jennifer Blei Stockman, Jesse Wann, Amy Hobby
Cast Nam June Paik, Steven Yeun
Camera Nelson Walker III
Editing Taryn Gould
Sound Greg Tobler
Music Will Epstein

The best film - The Guardian's Best Films 2023, Sundance Film Festival 2023, DOK.fest München 2023

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About the director

Amanda Kim is a young US-American-Korean Director, whose debut film Nam June Paik: Moon Is the Oldest TV, a documentary about the artist and his life’s work, celebrated its premiere at the Sundance Film Festival 2023.

Press reviews

„Every so often, you’ll see a portrait-of-the-artist documentary that’s so beautifully made, about a figure of such unique fascination, whose art is so perfectly showcased by the documentary format, that when it’s over you can’t believe the film hadn’t existed until now. It feels, in its way, essential.“ (Owen Gleiberman, Variety)

„There’s a great deal of charm and humour to Paik’s work, and to this film, but it’s anchored by his perceptiveness and ability to contemplate weighty themes – and, yes, to anticipate the future.“ (Fionnuala Halligan, ScreenDaily)

The director about the film

„[Citizen Kane] was a big inspiration too because, in a way, it’s this character that’s really hard to know. And you get pieces of this person through these different interviews. And that’s how I felt about Nam June, like, no one fully knows this person ‘cause he was so enigmatic, and he lived all over the world. And so everyone got a little piece of him. And I was trying to stitch this person together.“ Amanda Kim in an Interview with IMDb


International Feature Film Program