Rental Format(s): 16mm film

"It began with ENTHUSIASM. I first learned of Gordon Ball at the 1979 Atlanta Independent Film Festival when, along with 400 other festival goers, I watched an utterly earnest, painful and serious film called ENTHUSIASM sandwiched in a program of likeable festival fare. For the fourteen long minutes that ENTHUSIASM claimed the screen, a roomful of unprepared viewers was confronted with a filmmaker's account of his mother's death, following a prolonged illness with Alzheimer's Disease, a form of premature senility. Ball's detailed narrative, recited in a voice struggling to maintain composure, accompanied the generally random series of snapshots and posed photographs of his mother, interspersed with passages of colored leader and flares which constituted the visual body of the film.

"Later, at the close of the festival, after five nights of immersion in film and video, ENTHUSIASM was still with me. ... Going over these images is a universal experience. They are pictures that record the fairest moments as reflected in the face one wears in front of the camera. They preserve the memory of a time which existed before we children came. In them, the subject, even when aged, is always alive.

"Ball's story, replete with the mundane, untalked-of details of illness, forms the dark aspect of those fair eternal moments, the face we instinctively turn away from the camera's eye. ENTHUSIASM's drama takes the shape of the tension between picture and word, between the memory we cherish and the one we would often rather deny or forget." - Linda Dubler, Art Papers

"ENTHUSIASM presents a unique family image brown, black and white, and color photos collecting an older generation's poignant enthusiasm, romances, marriages, social graces and narrative myths, narrated in flashbacks from his parents' graves intermixed with chronologic soundtrack account of their buried histories, awkward, honest and raw-voiced, hesitant and sincere, whereby Gordon Ball makes you cry for life itself." - Allen Ginsberg

Awards: Sinking Creek Film & Video Festival, 1980; North Carolina Film Festival, 1981.

Collection: North Carolina Museum of Art

Rental Fees

16mm film $52.00  

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