The 1960’s was an era of social upheaval and anguished personal quests that was frequently represented cinematically through experimentation in narrative form. GME’s offerings of Experimental Narratives from this period include films from Spain (ADOLPHO ARRIETTA: THE ANGEL TRILOGY), France (LE LIT DE LA VIERGE and LE REVELATEUR, both by Philippe Garrel, as well as DEUX FOIS by Jackie Raynal), and the United States (ECHOES OF SILENCE by Peter Emanuel Goldman, HALLELUJAH THE HILLS by Adolfas Mekas, and GUNS OF THE TREES by Jonas Mekas).
Continuing in this vein, we now offer two new DVD editions from the turbulent year 1968: Gideon Bachmann’s UNDERGROUND NEW YORK and ICI ET MAINTENANT by Serge Bard. UNDERGROUND NEW YORK provides a rare behind-the-scenes view of the exploding New York “underground” in the late sixties, a turbulent time and place that was to change American culture forever, and ICI ET MAINTENANT takes a more dreamlike approach in depicting the adventures of a post May ’68 Parisian wanderer. Both DVD editions are published by Re:Voir.
In UNDERGROUND NEW YORK, a German TV crew, led by journalist Gideon Bachmann, explores the epicenter of the sixties revolution in art, music, poetry and film and interviews the main players in the New American Cinema movement that was born on the streets of New York. Against a backdrop of cultural upheaval in all of the arts and growing political agitation against the Vietnam War, Bachman interviews the most prominent figures in underground film, including Jonas Mekas, Shirley Clarke, the Kuchar Brothers and Bruce Connor, and visits the most notorious location in the New York art world of the era - Andy Warhol’s Factory - to conduct an interview with the genius of Pop Art himself.
In 1968, Serge Bard made three films in a row. They were DETRUISEZ-VOUS (DESTROY YOURSELF), FUN AND GAMES FOR EVERYONE and finally, ICI ET MAINTENANT (HERE AND NOW). The later film was photographed in striking black and white by cinematographer Henri Alekan (who also shot Cocteau’s LA BELLE ET LA BÊTE). In the laboratory, the director and cinematographer had the film flashed so as to create a high-contrast, grainy, abstract and luminous image when projected onscreen. Shot primarily in long takes on the Pointe du Raz in Brittany, ICI ET MAINTENANT (HERE AND NOW) according to fellow filmmaker Patrick Deval, “consists of the dreams of the solitary rambler, post-revolution... The moralist has given up on chaos; he takes his own pulse; he listens to the world, perhaps vibrating with it; he is in sympathetic ecstasy. The filmmaker holds his position, stiff as the statue of the commander, on alert for the phenomena which approach him; he resembles the lighthouse whose rectitude Bard captures magnificently, on an ink-dark night, with its hallucinatory lamp set against a background of winds and tides."
Related 1960s Experimental Narratives of Interest from GME: