Assuming that you’ll be able to tear yourself away from the news, which… maybe. And that would probably be a good idea, at least for a while. Order in something lovely to eat. Walk outside (in your mask).
And if you have a moment to relax and watch something without having to contribute one more dollar to any plutocrats? Why not fall in love with the magical ubuweb, the noncommercial repository of avant-garde materials founded in 1996 by poet Kenneth Goldsmith (@kg_ubu). Revolutionary on many fronts, and an inspiration to us at Popula. You can get lost forever in there.
A few selections I’ve enjoyed recently:
Television Delivers People (Richard Serra, 1973)
A McLuhanesque statement from the celebrated sculptor, who was just 35 at the time. What a thing! I had no idea.
Eno (dir. Alfi Sinniger, as Alfons Sinniger, 1973)
A 26-minute documentary. Wow. Swanning about in a blue kimono with no shirt underneath, a long-haired young Eno smokes cigarettes and fools around in the studio, recording thrillingly familiar bits of Here come the Warm Jets; a costumer sews up stage gear that he can’t sit down in; there are clips of old Roxy Music gigs and snippets of artwork; the Portsmouth Sinfonia makes an appearance. A rare treat for those of us d’un certain âge.
The Adventures of a Nurse (Parts I and II) (Eleanor Antin, 1976)
Unbelievably lush and weird narratives from a fantastical woman artist playing with hand-painted paper dolls. Antin growls, whispers, shouts, sings, disturbs, and delights, acting out all the frustrations of 1976, for much of the film seated on a pink bedspread and wearing a nurse’s uniform. So, so great.
Profile Of A Writer: Borges (dir. David Wheatley, 1983)
An 80-minute documentary of Jorge Luis Borges, full of charming conversations with the great man at home in Buenos Aires. Helps to have some Spanish; though it’s almost all in English, there are dramatizations of scenes from his work and a little bit of talk in Spanish. Worth the price of admission just to hear him pronounce “Bertrand Russell.”
“I want the dream to have its way with me.”
The Popula Film Club brings you worthwhile options to stream, chosen with a view to quality, and to withholding as much money as possible from the oligarchs and monopolists of Amazon, Netflix, YouTube and the like.
Please send your recommendations to firstname.lastname@example.org with the subject line, POPULA FILM CLUB.