Sunday, October 7, 2007

a scary time

UbuWeb Films features several shorts by Shirley Clarke (1919-1997), including A Scary Time of 1960. Music by Peggy Glanville-Hicks, produced by UNICEF (yes) in consultation with Thorold Dickinson. Go to Ubu's Clarke page and you'll find several of her shorts combined into one video.

Clarke studied filmmaking with Hans Richter at the City College of New York after making In Paris Parks (1954). In 1955 she became a member of the Independent Filmmakers of America. She became part of a circle of independent filmmakers in Greenwich Village such as Maya Deren, Stan Brakhage, and Jonas Mekas.

Her 1963 film was The Cool World & Robert Frost: A Lover's Quarrel with the World.

Clarke also directed a 90-minute Cinéma vérité interview with a black homosexual titled Portrait of Jason (1967), which has been called an insightful exploration of one "persons character while it simultaneously addresses the range and limitations of cinema-verité style." -- Lauren Rabinovitz. She created the 90-minute film from twelve hours of interview footage. It was distributed by the Film-Makers Distribution Center, which was co-founded by Clarke in 1966, closing in 1970 due to a lack of funds.

In 1970, she formed the T.P. Videospace Troupe, a loose collective working in experimental video and theater.