TDTKs MAY 2015

Hymns to the American West

mass for dakota sioux

Four films which explore the beauty, vibrance and sadness of one culture built on the destruction of another. This programme includes work from the iconic post-beat, pre-hippie filmmaker Bruce Baillie and his contemporary adherent Paul Clipson. The films carry you on a flowing stream of images – superimposed, layered phrases – the death drive of an American


ANOTHER VOID        Paul Clipson

(USA / 2012 / 16mm / 11mins )

Filmed in the Tenderloin night of San Francisco, this study of the eye in vertiginous color and darkness, part drip painting, part contour drawing, part cubist collage, an on-going exploration into the various in-camera processes of handheld, Super 8 filmmaking. The obscure space of urban night provides saturated palettes of color, from ATM machines, neon signs and garish alcohol advertisements.



(USA / 1966 / 16 mm / 10mins)

Bruce Baillie, with his magical eye, has constructed a flowing lyric poem. A steady rhythm of pans and dissolves is set by the ponderous motion of trains over a sound track bass line of industrial noises: bangs, regular beats, whirrs, clangs and toots. Everything is carried along with the flow, the dance of exploration and perception. Castro Street is a meditation on the reality of our industrial condition, not redeeming it, but transcending it.


UNION       Paul Clipson

(USA / 2010 / 16mm / 14 mins)

An exploration of movement, woven into layers of time, and photographed in natural and nocturnal urban spaces, ambiguous within a confluence of lights, colors and darkness.



(USA / 1963-1964 / 16 mm / 24mins)

“No chance for me to live mother, you might as well mourn.”

Sitting Bull, Hunkpapa Sioux Chief

A visionary road movie and plangent hymn to the dream of America that never came true, this film is among the most sublime and visually soaring works of American experimental cinema. Musically melting image and sound into a lustrous and sensual poem, it offers a whisperingly intimate yet sweepingly epic meditation on the myths, the violence and the ghosts haunting the American soul.