Wednesday, May 29, 2013

The Best Old Movies On a Big Screen This Week

Posted By on Wed, May 29, 2013 at 9:00 AM

Deadman 1990 Peggy Ahwesh Keith Sanborn
The Deadman (1990)
Directed by Peggy Ahwesh and Keith Sanborn
"I translated the Bataille text, which I had found in a bookstore in Paris,” codirector Sanborn tells us by email about his movie, one of the most important American avant-garde films of the past 30 years. “It's roughly the story of a woman cut loose from her normal world by the death of her lover. She goes out into the night, into a sleazy bar, and then eventually returns to the death house. We were drawn to the short texts at the bottom of each page of Bataille's text, which summarized that page’s action. In a sense, Bataille had broken his text down into sequences, but we didn't follow his breakdown, and lots was changed and omitted. After a failed attempt to shoot the film in Brooklyn together, Peggy managed to shoot it a year or so later, mostly in a bar in San Francisco, loosely following some of the directives we had worked out. I was largely responsible for the editing, though we argued about it a lot. We called the film our ‘two-headed monster,’ and agreed that it came out better than if either of us had made it without the other. So much for collaboration.” Aaron Cutler (May 30 at Anthology)

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