I probably first heard of Charon from Robert Graves “Greek Myths” but ‘paying the ferryman’ is, at least in my generation, a common term. In the back of it all is the love story of stupid Cupid and the silly, mortal Psyche. I made a video.
I took a roll of 35mm images around my parents La Trobe Cinema and lent them to my mother, both now long gone. These are from a 4fps film of the day when Jim Lawrence leased it to my parents in June 1973. That I still have.
Hugh McSpedden was always part of the Melbourne alternative film community from the early days of the Film Co-op. His light shows were integral to the T.F. Much Ballroom and other concerts I attended. I’m finding bits in my film archives of him, so I’ve started this page.
Two films, one Super 8 from 1971, and one Standard 8 consisting of two earlier anti-Vietnam war marches. Both of these will be transferred in higher quality and have music added but they need to be here before I get time and money to do that.
“alternative”, “avant-garde”,“experimental” and “independent” - whatever.
How our tools change the way we work interests me most, and not just theatrical mainstream. For this Cinema Papers piece I selected from the first 54 issues of the Cantrill’s Filmnotes magazine talking about ‘alternate’ film and video technology.
“With 8mm you have all the immediate potentiality of the powers of a sketch. You have that brevity, the quickness, the lightweightedness of the camera, that expendability of it. Nothing in the area of 8mm will ever be in the consideration for prizes or awards.”
We’d seen some of Conner’s movies during the Co-op days but it is this lecture by Stan Brakhage on Conner at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, April 1973, that gives you a greater understanding of him as an artist. There’s links to videos.
John Hughes has got it almost right in his piece on the rise and fall of the film cooperatives. I’m conspicuous by my absence but it doesn’t matter and I’m grateful for him documenting things I’ve stopped remembering.
That’s John Grierson. He was held up to us as we did our Film Studies at RMIT Photography School, as sitting on the right hand of the film gods. I was an eager convert to the Church of the State Film Centre.