Tag Archives: Bruce Baillie

Bruce Baillie – Castro Street (1966)

Inspired by a lesson from Erik Satie; a film in the form of a street – Castro Street running by the Standard Oil Refinery in Richmond, California … switch engines on one side and refinery tanks, stacks and buildings on the other – the street and film, ending at a red lumber company. All visual and sound elements from the street, progressing from the beginning to the end of the street, one side is black-and-white (secondary), and one side is colour – like male and female elements. The emergence of a long switch-engine shot (black-and-white solo) is to the filmmaker the essential of consciousness. Read More »

    Bruce Baillie – Mass for the Dakota Sioux (1964)

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    Mass for the Dakota Sioux (1964, 20 minutes, 16mm) is dedicated by Baillie to “the religious people who were destroyed by the civilization which evolved the Mass.” It is on one level a “Mass” for the American Indian conquered and displaced by the white American in quest of manifest destiny. A quote from the native American Sitting Bull opens the film,

    No chance for me to live mother
    You might as well mourn

    But this conflict of American history is also an echo of the artist’s own dilemma. Like the Beat Generation poets and writers, Baillie is situated outside the mainstream. He is an outsider looking in. His vision, personal, perceptive, unique and unmitigated by the profit motive defines the role of the contemporary artist. Read More »

      Bruce Baillie – Here I Am (1962)

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      An early film made for an Oakland school for mentally disturbed children.

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      From the 1910s through the 1950s newsreels were a staple of American
      Moviegoing experience. Released nationally to theaters once or twice a week and running about 10 min., newsreels highlighted the events of the day – politics,sports,
      scandals, ceremonies – and generally included at least one human-interest story.
      Sometimes local theaters made their own, thrilling audiences by profiling hometown
      personalities. With Here I Am Bruce Baillie brings this inclusive approach
      to the avant-garde. Read More »

        Bruce Baillie – To Parsifal (1963)

        “He who becomes slowly wise.”

        SPOILER.
        The Structure of Lyric:
        Baillie’s to Parsifal
        Alan Williams

        It’s difficult to say exactly where or how To Parsifal is a lyric film and where or how a narrative work. For this reason, ordinary critical vocabularies (based on certain “types” of films) do not apply with much usefulness to Bruce Baillie’s abstractly assembled color images, nor to the nature and functions of his sound track. To get a sense of how this film works it will be necessary first to break it down, outline it, in order to see how the (implied) viewer puts it together. Read More »