Robert Frank Film of The Rolling Stones

It’s all very confused and mysterious. In 1972, the Rolling Stones hired photographer and filmmaker Robert Frank to make a film about their American tour. He made something wonderful called ‘Cocksucker Blues,’ which immediately angered the Stones because it actually showed them to be the ultra coolest and baddest band in the world. They sued him to keep the film out of circulation. Go figure. Why would you sue a guy for making the one absolute piece of evidence that you are what you say you are: ‘The greatest rock & roll band in the world?’ Well I don’t know the answer. Drugs and addled minds perhaps. This short film is actual footage taken by Frank on Super 8 cameras. It’s been edited by someone called Videodrumz on YouTube and put together with ‘Rocks Off’ from the ‘Exile on Main Street’ album. It’s good. It works. The footage is absolutely recognizable as Frank’s.

Greetings From Los Angeles 1978: Super 8 Film by George Porcari

George Pocari made this film of Los Angeles in 1978. It’s beautiful and it shows the things one sees every day without really noticing. Films like this one turn out to be incredibly valuable glimpses of the past. It’s funny how home movies end up getting closer to art films as they age. But this one actually started off as a kind of art film. It’s very well made.


Those Dreams That On the Silent Night Intrude; The Secret Cinema of Jerzy Treblinka: A Film by Luca Gennari

This is a Super 8 film made on a single cartridge without post-production effects by Italian filmmaker Luca Gennari for the Straight Eight Festival at Cannes 2010. There’s a great reference to the brilliant Super 8 filmmaker Derek Jarman buried in here. This film glories in the history of abstract, surreal and neorealist cinema. But it fuses those things with a documentary realism. It ties the artistic workings and ramblings of a mysterious filmmaker to the darkness, horror and murder of the Twentieth Century.  I’ve said this before and I’ll say it again… Italy is involved in a cinema movement that is just as profound as the movements there in the 1940s, 50s, and sixties. The filmmakers in Italy who are today using the Web for their expression are the equals of Fellini and Rossellini.

Nightlife in a Puddle – A Film by Fabio Scacchioli

Fabio Scacchioli is an Italian filmmaker who turns ordinary shots on Super 8 film and video into magical and mystical pieces about memory and all that it does for us. I am always impressed by his work and how he finds the perfect moments to let glimmer through the haze to catch us unaware. I maintain that as we move further into the 21st century, we are developing a new cinema completely removed from the theatrical aspects of the last century’s cinema. It is filmmakers who do not try to make films that look like American features who will make the new cinema. Filmmakers making films that look like American features are looking at forms as outmoded as 19th century theatrical works were during the age of the early silents. The new cinema is as natural and immediate a form of expression as writing or painting.

I know that Scacchioli is currently working on something new and I’m looking forward to seeing it. I’ve posted about Scacchioli’s work before.

A Prayer for Cool – Super 8 Biker Film by Marc Bencivenga

It’s not the bikes that I like so much. It’s the super 8! A perfect little piece of humorous filmmaking that really does somehow capture a kind of coolness and easy rebellion that I thought was long gone. There’s some absolutely gorgeous photography going on here. And who ever sees someone lighting up a cigarette with so much perfection as in this film! You just don’t see that anywhere anymore ever.

Marc Bencivenga made this and he apparently did it with a fifty-year-old super 8 camera.