Selections from the San Francisco Video Festival
Steel and Flesh
This highly polished, fetish-laden drama by Vancouver's Eric Metcalfe and Colorado's Ace Space (Dana Atchley) focuses on Metcalfe's teenage detective-comic fantasies. The work successfully defuses its inherent violence but fortunately never overcomes the sense of decadent viciousness that forms the core of the narrative. “Metcalfe, in recreating his mid-fifties strips on tape, gives us the genre he originally mimicked - the murder mystery. Steel and Flesh is a funny filmic cross between the elegant drawing room violence of Agatha Christie and the sleazy ambiguity of Raymond Chandler. 200 pages reduced to 12 minutes.” --John Grayson, Fuse, July/Aug. 1980
• Directed by Eric Metcalfe and Dana Atchley. Written by Eric Metcalfe. Camera by Dana Atchley. (1980, 12 mins, color)
This videotape by New York conceptual artist and humorist Michael Smith relates the misadventures of a character cross bred from the archetype Jerry Lewis schlep and the Roger Corman victim. Smith is the victim of a series of terrors so personal and idiosyncratic that they could easily pass for mundane if it were not for their mock signification as existential dilemmas of the first order. Architectural detail, grids, problems in ironing, the tyranny of a swivel lounge chair, and of course, TV, all form the matrix of Smith's Secret Horror.
• Written and Directed by Michael Smith. (1980, 14 mins, color)
Thursday Morning Bobs
The first major video work by Beverly Hills conceptual artists Bob & Bob, the tape sticks close to their central aesthetic premise to keep “makin' art that makes sense.” The two Bobs are seen sitting on a couch next to each other. Every thirty seconds the background music changes covering what the Bobs call “every possible kind of music made by human beings.” One of the Bobs is perpetually pleasant and happy while the other is anxious, perturbed and bothered. The audience will inevitably identify with one or the other, depending on the music. It is a videotape about the way people relate to having an environment thrust upon them.
• Written and Directed by Bob & Bob. (1980, 25 mins, color)
Plus, Bob & Bob Super-8mm Films:
Here's The News
Four short films describing Bob & Bob's worldview: Nature Is Perfect, Animals Are Perfect, Humans Are Animals, and Bob & Bob Are Humans.
• Written and Directed by Bob & Bob. (1980, 25 mins, super-8, sound, color)
• A selection of short video-music works by Peter Ivers, Neecy Twinem, and Twin Art (Lynda and Ellen Kahn).