We all roughly agree about what plagiarism is in art. But what about in everyday life? What about quoting someone and weaving it into a conversation? Remixing someone else’s story? Using a song or literary description to reflect your own experience? What is the difference between plagiarism and the free use of so-called cultural capital? And who do we think has the right to it? In this snapshot portrait of an aspiring young writer and her cinematographer boyfriend (also still aspiring), class and racial tensions, unspecified expectations, and abandoned stereotypes are intertwined in everyday conversations and situations. The Plagiarists, a film by the experimental screenwriters Robin Schavoir and James N. Kienitz Wilkins, is a record of a few days from a couple’s holiday trips, a kind of excerpt from a diary. It’s also a film about authenticity—in life and in art—that asks the question of where the border is between performance and the creation of a self that has nothing to do with reality. And it is also, in a certain sense, a film about cinema and literature. After all, aren’t all artists, to quote Olivier Assayas, in recycling their own or someone else’s life experiences, plagiarists of everyday life?
Peter Parlow is an American filmmaker, writer, musician and stock photographer. He exclusively collaborates with the writers/producers of The Plagiarists: Robin Schavoir and James N. Kienitz Wilkins.
2014 The Jag
2019 Plagiatorzy / The Plagiarists