Films by Gordon Ball

Sale Format(s): DVD

Gordon Ball's films have been acclaimed for their originality, their powerful directness. As filmmaker Stan Brakhage has written has written of Ball's two works on the death of his mother and the death of his father, he "has accomplished something unique in the autobiographical genre of motion pictures." 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."

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 one 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."

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.

"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

"`First thought, best thought,' was the artistic vision of Beat Generation writers Jack Kerouac and Allen Ginsberg--which resulted in texts with an inspired sense of spontaneity. And it has also been this school of thought--of recording unplanned impressions--that has doubtlessly influenced Gordon Ball--an intimate student of Ginsberg--in the creation of these films, just released in DVD as The Films of Gordon Ball. However, Mr. Ball's work has achieved an artistic purity and elegance that in many ways eluded even his mentors."-Peter Neofotis,

Of Ball's Enthusiasm: "Gordon Ball makes you cry for life itself."--Allen Ginsberg

Of Mexican Jail Footage: "I can't forget this film."--Robert Frank
"Mexican Jail Footage is the best jail film I've seen."-Jonas Mekas

"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

This DVD anthology selects seven works and includes a 35-minute interview with Ball by filmmaker and archivist Tom Whiteside:

"Georgia" (1966)
"Sitting" (1977)
"Father Movie" (1978)
"Mexican Jail Footage" (1980)
"Do Poznania [To Poznan]: Conversations in Poland" (1991)
"Enthusiasm" (1979)
"Millbrook" (l985)

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