Christmas Time

"Everywhere that Barbara went, she wanted to disrupt the 'institutional'.  Some marginal institution would have invited us, but that marginal institution was always too institutional for Barbara's taste, so there would be daily confrontations and eruptions.  It was a constant struggle, and the way she was living her life made it completely unpredictable whether she would even be there the next day or the next week.  Of course, people were completely fascinated with her; they'd never seen anything like her." - (P.Adams Sitney in A Critical Cinema 4)

(from Andy Warhol's Screen Tests)

Catalogue of Wonders


Radical Light: Alternative Film and Video in the San Francisco Bay Area, 1945-2000

As you've probably heard Radical Light, which has taken the form of a large-scale book, several film programs and various exhibitions, is an unparalleled consideration of the incredibly rich history of alternative media in the West Coast Bay Area.  While I can't speak for the film series or the exhibitions (though I have no doubt they are of the utmost quality), I can say without equivocation that the book, published by University of California Press and BAM/PFA and edited by Steve Anker,Kathy Geritz and Steve Seid, is an essential release.  It seems that today you are all too likely to encounter the word essential describing the most mundane of items, but for those of us who do not have access to any sort of instituional or academic offerings on the subject a book like this is a lifeline, a spectacularly wide-ranging guide with which we can begin to get some inkling of the vastness of this previously unexplored movement. 

The design itself is gorgeous, divided into six easily digestible chronological sections,

it's a visual cornucopia featuring essays,

interviews, artist pages,

remembrances, "focuses" on various individual films,

and large scale image reproductions (film stills, letters, ads, collages, etc.).

The list of contributors is impressively extensive, and there is no doubt that each and every one of them approached the subject with a great deal of care and respect.  Make no mistake, this is a book to take your time with, I've just about neared the end and already there is an overwhelming urge to restart at page one (rest assured that this post is only just an initial spark, it will inspire many more posts here in the future).  I realize that this isn't so much a measured review as a love-letter, but if you're able to wean one bit of reliable information from this let it be that the book speaks for itself.  Please seriously consider supporting this effort by picking up a copy, in hopes that it will be an impetus for other like-minded efforts in the future.

(And hey, with the holiday season just around the corner it makes the perfect gift!...)

Once, Twice, Three Times a Lady

(Gunvor Nelson w/Robert Nelson and daughter)

(Storm De Hirsch)

(Rose Lowder [by Carl Brown])

Across the Pond


That Voodoo You Do


Words of the Week

Words that make the heart skip a beat...

"And now, for the next couple of months, I will do nothing much else but work on completing and editing all of my film footage that I still have on my shelves, fading. It will be my last movie as a film, my Fading Film."

-Jonas Mekas in The Brooklyn Rail

Where's Kenneth?

(Anger capturing footage for what would become Invocation of My Demon Brother; from FC)