Beauty emerging from the rubble
May 25, 2012 5:55 AM   Subscribe

SSS is a 1988 experimental film featuring rapid-fire clips of dancers on the streets and junkyards of New York's East Village, "painstaking synched" to improvised music by Tom Cora (cello), Christian Marclay (turntables), and Zeena Parkins (harp). It's by filmmaker Henry Hills, whose official site is here. More collage films here, including Radio Adios, the quick cut-up KINO DA!, Money ("a manic collage film from the mid-80s when it still seemed that Reaganism of the soul could be defeated," with appearances by John Zorn, Fred Frith, Arto Lindsay, Ron Silliman among others), and Gotham, one of three films Hills made for Zorn's Naked City project.
posted by mediareport (11 comments total) 16 users marked this as a favorite
Be sure to see the section from 0:48 to 1:15 in SSS; it captures the aesthetic perfectly, I think.
posted by mediareport at 6:00 AM on May 25, 2012

I liked the part where they danced on the junk pile.
posted by The 10th Regiment of Foot at 6:20 AM on May 25, 2012

Also, when you are in the witness protection program and kicking your coke habit I guess you have a lot of time to make expirimental films.
posted by The 10th Regiment of Foot at 6:22 AM on May 25, 2012

Heh. It hits my sweet spot so hard that even tho I know in my brain it's a minority taste it still amazes me when other folks don't immediately grok the cut-up gorgeousness and rhythmic density of collages like this. And the soundtracks work just as well in another tab. For me, naturally.

Oh well. De gustibus, even if some gustibuses seem more pinched than others.
posted by mediareport at 6:35 AM on May 25, 2012

posted by Theta States at 6:53 AM on May 25, 2012

This sounds so totally up my alley that I feel like I should buy a lottery ticket or some shit.

Thanks, mediareport!
posted by box at 8:59 AM on May 25, 2012

posted by TomMelee at 11:54 AM on May 25, 2012

This is what people who were born in the 90s think the 80s were like all the time, right?
posted by nev at 2:43 PM on May 25, 2012

I think this demonstrates that cutting film on a classic flatbed was not necessarily conducive to a better quality filmic experience that digital. In any case, dance is just hard to get coherent, let alone wonderful on film. The early Dance in America video on PBS used cameramen that had experience shooting hockey games, they could at least catch the interesting bits of movement, where the action was. But to refute my first quip there, even though video is vastly more accessible than film, I don't really see a lot more great dance video.
posted by sammyo at 4:33 PM on May 25, 2012

I got your jumbo red tops right here!
posted by PeterMcDermott at 5:23 PM on May 25, 2012

If you are intrigued by the background atmosphere, the 1985 film 'Mixed Blood' by Paul Morrissey is a swell story with a violent but funny plot. (Ignore the stupid trailer on YT, it misses the point completely).
posted by ovvl at 7:13 PM on May 25, 2012

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