Warhol and Maciunas: A Film by Jonas Mekas

This is a film by Jonas Mekas that features Andy Warhol, Yoko Ono, John Lennon, and George Maciunas who founded the New York art movement known as Fluxus. The film shows a Whitney Museum art opening in 1971 and an artists’ party in New York. Home movies become an artform in Mekas’ hands.

Ford Magic Skyway Film from 1964

At the 1964 World’s Fair in New York, Walt Disney built the Ford Magic Skyway ride which took visitors on a ride in Ford cars through history and into the future. It makes me realize that all we are really doing when we visit Disney theme parks is celebrating nostalgia for the 1950s and 60s. Were we ever naive enough to actually attend a World’s Fair?

A.45 at 50th – A Film About Actor James Cromwell and the Black Panthers in 1968


I got a nice surprise submission to my Vimeo Candlelight Stories Short Film group this week.  It’s a fascinating documentary about one famous actor’s experiences during the turmoil of the civil rights movement in the 1960s.

John Cromwell, the son of actor James Cromwell, directed this short film with Joshua Bell. It’s about his father’s experience with members of the Black Panther Party civil rights organization in 1968. It’s a fascinating short documentary look at someone who finds himself in an unfamiliar world just trying to lend a decent helping hand. James Cromwell has been involved with the defense of the Black Panthers and other human rights causes for decades.  I like the film’s professional quality and easy capturing of the sixties look.  It presents its important and dramatic subject matter with a good dose of rather charming humor.

Here’s an article and interview with the director and his father.

Downtown 81 – A Film Starring Jean Michel Basquiat

Mature Content:

This is a 1980 film starring American artist Jean Michel Basquiat. It follows him around and through the downtown New York art and music scene, presenting real people and events in a barely fictionalized semi-documentary. It’s a fascinating look into the world of 1980 New York and the quickly rising star painter who was to pass away in 1988. It’s a glimpse of a New York just a few years before it was bombed by The Gap.  It was directed by Edo Bertoglio.

You can stare straight into the open face of Basquiat and find more mystery than Banksy could conjure with a black velvet cloak, top hat and a mask.