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Christopher Maclaine Beat Films

Year: 2011, 61 mins
Code: RV-Maclaine

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The End 16mm 1953, 35 mins.
The Man Who Invented Gold 16mm 1957, 14 mins.
Beat 16mm 1958, 6 mins.
Scotch Hop 16mm 1958, 6 mins.

Contains a 32-page booklet with a text by Stan Brakhage recounting his friendship with Maclaine.

"Christopher Maclaine, a beat poet of the 1940s and 50s living in San Francisco, made only four films in his lifetime; the first and longest two: The End (1953), which is 35 minutes, and the 14-minute The Man Who Invented Gold (1957) present the profoundest challenge to viewer identification I know of. Avoiding the extreme (though brilliant) conceptual anticinema of such filmmakers as Maurice Lemaitre, Maclaine tells stories based in social reality but in a manner so profoundly fragmented, so unnerving, as to give even viewers who have seen the works many times a series of perceptual shocks. Among the greatest films I have ever seen, these twin fables of doom and redemption are also unlike any others I know. After perhaps 20 viewings of The End over the past 30 years, I feel as if I am only beginning to understand its greatness". - Fred Camper

"Dating from 1953, this may in fact be the first genuine beat film, profoundly inventive and advanced for its time. Maclaine outlook is bleak and his techniques are crude, creating a film which is deliciously inept, but glorious. One of cinema starkest evocations of the Cold War period and its effect on creative thought, situated in the beat milieu of 1950s San Francisco but speaking in direct terms to generations of lost souls." - Mark Webber

"With Maclaine, we are going back to the source of the Beats; he was the filmmaker who chronicled the movement as it happened and created a center of one of the aspects of the Beat myth seven or eight years before the grand epic of Beat became nationally known with Allen Ginsberg and Jack Kerouac.... I have seen The End more than fifty times, and there are moments when I still begin to tremble at the psychological blockages and outright terror of it. Unquestionably, it is Maclaine masterpiece." - Stan Brakhage

"One can feel behind the film images and its sounds the movements of a complex and beautiful spirit, the movements which lead you to your own unexpected, exalted, chance discoveries. The beauty of The End is stronger than the crooked silliness of governments, the blabberings of sociologists and politicians." - Jonas Mekas

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