Rear Cubicle, a movie by Jos Claerbout and Yun Shin

Rear Cubicle, a movie by Jos Claerbout and Yun Shin

by Jos's dad

Rear Cubicle is a 10 minute video homage of Alfred Hitchcock's classic 1954 movie Rear Window in which a wheelchair bound photographer spies on his neighbors from his apartment window and becomes convinced one of them has committed murder.

Jos was the writer and producer (writer, organizer and promoter) and
his friend Yun Shin was the director (shoots and edits the film).
[internet movie data base]

Jos wrote and produced this video to test the boundaries of the internet as a new video distribution medium (rather than say, the usual theatre or film festival route). He felt that the internet could be a much more democratic means of distributing one's work.

Not making the mistake he made on his earlier movies, Jos got signed releases from all his actors that would allow him full distribution rights. One of the reasons for making this video now, was that he needed a movie to demonstrate "pop-up" technology (balloon overlays). He got permission to shoot Rear Cubicle at WebTV. The justification he offered (and he felt) was that he needed a movie that he had the all the required rights to experiment publicly with WebTV's potential technologies. This movie had no financial underwriting. They did it for the joy of it.

As a result of Jos's foresight getting signed releases from actors and all, you are now free to view his movie over the internet. It streams at intermediate DSL speeds.

Try it! (quicktime .mov)

Try it! (Windows .asf)

Alongside we see Jos pointing his finger at his film director Yun. From left to right are Paul R y b i c k i, Jos, J e t Villavicencio, Lisa, Yun, and Neal T u c k e r.

As Alfred Hitchcock often did, Jos plays a cameo role (at the beginning of the movie). We see him again in a short clip after the end in a mood of joy and exuberance. That clip was all too brief.

In the video capture below he experiments with the microphone while saying,

"What do we have to look forward to today? There are a lot of things we have to look forward to today. We're just having a lot of fun."

Jos died before Yun finished editing the video so he never saw the final result. He did, however, live about four days after the shooting during which he sent a cheery email to his grandfather and made a joyful telephone call to his Mumalum and Popalop.

Here are the photo props that Jos had prepared for Rear Cubicle.

In the week following Jos's death, Yun made a short video honoring Jos, Fear of a Black Toessel.

Here are some frame grabs from Jos in his last days.

return to the Life of Jos