Khaan! The Greatest Syllable Ever Told

LA Weekly reviews the screening of a Daniel Martinico's 15-minute movie, Khaan!, which is a loop of James Kirk winding up to scream the name of his nemesis in The Wrath of Khan. The two-minute clip above, according to reviewer Mark Mauer, "doesn't begin to do justice to the size, sound and hypnotic power of the real thing."
Last week Machine Project in Echo Park showed Martinco's 15-minute meticulously re-spliced creation in a never-ending loop that transforms the moment from one of anguish (or snickering for the the audience) into a meditation, maybe even a mantra.

You'll notice the crowd gets quiet after the first few seconds. It draws you in, forces you to pay attention, even if it's just staring at the back and forth eye tics on Shatner's face for a minute at a time.

"In that moment everyone responds to it," Martinico says. There's laughing at first, but then people get into the rhythm of it and study the various little muscles as they pull and twitch on Kirk's face. "It's a phenomenal range in just a few seconds."

Khaan! The Greatest Syllable Ever Told (Via Joshuah Bearman)


  1. Video minimalism. Works for me, but I grew up listening to musicians like Steve Reich.

  2. My memory seems to be of the actual “Khan” yelling to be much bigger and louder and longer.

  3. You do have to admire the lung power involved. If Shatner had never made it as an actor, he might have been a good sponge diver.

  4. man, we went from evil mastermind, Khaan, to wtf mindless angry dude, Nero?

    How the mighty have fallen.

  5. Reminds me of Martin Arnold‘s films. Or at least the one I saw so long ago: “passage á l’acte”. Involved stretching out a simple scene from “To Kill a Mockingbird” a few seconds long into a 12 minute film.

    Here are a couple of clips I found:

    Watching these clips on the computer fails to invoke the effect the film had when I saw in the theater. The effect then was strong enough to still be with me 14 years later.

  6. @ Greglondon #7:

    Hey, Nero still beats a whiney young Patrick Stewart clone prone to telepathic gang-rape.

  7. I think Shatner needs a retroactive oscar. I’m delightfully surprised at the resonance this scene has had.

  8. Nero was pretty lame.. his motivation was so lacking. Sure, your planet’s been destroyed, you want revenge. Fine. But destroying just one other planet seems plenty cathartic to me.

  9. Because he tasks me! He *tasks* me! Around the moons of Vega, I chuckle at thee. Around the suns of Andromeda, I chuckle more at thee. Revenge is a dish best served with pinto beans and muffins! Kirk, oh, friend, I… Oh!

    I’m sorry.

  10. I had a chance to go see Khan a few months back at the fantastic Carolina Theater in Durham, NC.

    The scream was nothing like I have ever heard it before. It was AMAZING.

  11. I wonder what the real aliens are thinking right now as this is broadcast into deep space. Probably think Shatner is some God-like deity we worship and pay homage to. Would make for a good Noir Galaxy Quest.

  12. It’s always fun to compare reel good overacting like that to Marlon Brando’s mincy little Twyla Tharp-footed Scum Sucking Pig moment. I never knew they made K’Boi Buttes that small.

Comments are closed.