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Films by Gordon Ball

Year: 1966-1985, 65 mins
Code: RV-Ball

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This film anthology selects seven works and includes a 35-minute interview with Ball by filmmaker and archivist Tom Whiteside. The selected films are:

Georgia (1966)
Father Movie (1978)
Mexican Jail Footage (1980)
Do Poznaniq: Conversions in Poland (1991)
Sitting (1977)
Entusiasm (1979)
Millbrook (1985)

A work by Ball eschews technical polish in favor of "technical sincerity”"; it may be made, in part, on the run, as with Father Movie; it may be, as with his first work, Georgia, shot completely spontaneously. It is, as the filmmaker has written, "negligent of all but its own earnest rhythmic awareness... what one person and no other can give us." It is uncompromising and full of heart, strong enough to make one, as poet Allen Ginsberg has written of Ball’s Enthusiasm, "cry for life itself."  

Gordon Ball’s (born Paterson, New Jersey, grew up Tokyo, Japan) films have been acclaimed for their originality, their powerful directness. Ball began work in film when given a regular 8mm movie camera by Jonas Mekas on a 1966 college visit.
Ball’s films have been shown on three continents and at a range of institutions, including the Museum of Modern Art, the Guggenheim Museum, the San Francisco Art Institute, the San Francisco Cinematheque, Anthology Film Archives, Kyoto Cinematheque, and British Film Institute, and have won prizes at a number of festivals.
Jonas Mekas declared Ball’s Mexican Jail Footage "the best jail film I’ve seen"; 
of the same movie Robert Frank exclaimed "I can’’t forget this film."

"Watching Gordon Ball's films is a transcendent experience." - Wheeler Winston Dixon

"The poetic parable is Ball's natural territory." - Stephen Flinn Young

"Gordon Ball "has accomplished something unique in the autobiographical genre of motion pictures." -Stan Brakhage Of Ball's Enthusiasm

"Gordon Ball make you cry for life itself." - Allen Ginsberg Of Mexican Jail Footage

"I can't forget this film." - Robert Frank

"Mexican Jail Footage reminds me of standing by the tracks and watching a train go by - it is so strong, it lasts so long, and it is over so quickly." - Tom Whiteside

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