"One of the great living documentary makers of the modern day, Les Blank joins BYOD. After fifty years making incredible docs that showcase the human spirit through art, struggle and humor, Les Blank has a wealth of knowledge to share with Ondi and Vlad.
Mr. Blank takes us through his early days and his decision to pick up the camera, his jump to film making and dealing with subjects on the outside of society, to dealing with artists to find the human spirit. He spares few details along the way and let's us in on his life-threatening filming Herzog, from the jungle of South America on 'Burden of Dreams,' to filming the director famously eating his own shoe. Mr. Blank is still a brilliant artist and illuminating guide through the history of doc making."
"An American Treasure and Living Legend Les Blank and his Documentary Films", Episode 14 : BYOD: Bring Your Own Doc, Hosted By Ondi Timoner and Vladimir Radovanov for TheLip.tv.
"Meshes of the Afternoon is one of the most influential works in American experimental cinema. A non-narrative work, it has been identified as a key example of the 'trance film,' in which a protagonist appears in a dreamlike state, and where the camera conveys his or her subjective focus. The central figure in Meshes of the Afternoon, played by Deren, is attuned to her unconscious mind and caught in a web of dream events that spill over into reality. Symbolic objects, such as a key and a knife, recur throughout the film; events are open-ended and interrupted. Deren explained that she wanted 'to put on film the feeling which a human being experiences about an incident, rather than to record the incident accurately.'
Made by Deren with her husband, cinematographer Alexander Hammid, Meshes of the Afternoon established the independent avant-garde movement in film in the United States, which is known as the New American Cinema. It directly inspired early works by Kenneth Anger, Stan Brakhage, and other major experimental filmmakers. Beautifully shot by Hammid, a leading documentary filmmaker and cameraman in Europe (where he used the surname Hackenschmied) before he moved to New York, the film makes new and startling use of such standard cinematic devices as montage editing and matte shots. Through her extensive writings, lectures, and films, Deren became the preeminent voice of avant-garde cinema in the 1940s and the early 1950s."
The Museum of Modern Art, MoMA Highlights, New York: The Museum of Modern Art, revised 2004, originally published 1999.
Maya Deren (1943). "Meshes of the Afternoon", 16mm film, black and white, silent, 14 min. Acquired from the Artist.
"Not only does the documentary Eraserhead Stories offer as much information as you'll find anywhere on the making of David Lynch's first feature film, it has a few Lynchian qualities of its own. For almost an hour and a half, David Lynch sits down behind a microphone and reminisces about the six years his ragtag team spent putting the movie together. But he does it in black-and-white, in front of a curtain, smoking, like something out of an early-1950s television broadcast. The ambient dull roar of an ill wind appears, intermittently and inexplicably, on the soundtrack. Photographs flash by, supporting some of Lynch's inspiring, arduous, and bizarre recollections. Many of his stories deal with the nuts and bolts of bringing one's financially impoverished but creatively overflowing early movies into reality."
(Colin Marshall, 17 December 2012, Open Culture)
David Lynch (2001). "Eraserhead Stories".
"lectures presented by filmmaker Peter Greenaway as the 2010-2011 Avenali Chair in the Humanities at the Townsend Center for the Humanities.'"
(Townsend Center for the Humanities)
Fig1. Lecture presented by filmmaker Peter Greenaway 13 September 2010.
"John Pierson is one of the unsung heroes of the independent-film explosion of the last decade. Just ask him. A New York-based producer's rep, he was among the first to discover and help finance the debuts of such filmmakers as Spike Lee, Michael Moore, Richard Linklater, Rose Troche, and Kevin Smith. Pierson recounts these discoveries and describes the booming independent-film scene from the inside in his memoir Spike, Mike, Slackers & Dykes: A Guided Tour Across a Decade of American Independent Cinema, a book as personal and idiosyncratic as some of the films he has nurtured."
(Gary Susman, 1995, Phoenix Media/Communication Group)