Brian Frye

Across the Rappahannock () , min

On December 12, 1863, General Ambrose Burnside's Army of the Potomac engaged General Robert E. Lee's Army of Northern Virginia in the town of Fredericksburg, Virginia. Before Burnside's army could enter the town, Union engineers were forced to lay pontoon bridges across the Rappahannock River under withering fire. Close combat through the streets of Fredericksburg and multiple assaults on the Confederate army entrenched in the heights behind the town resulted in heavy Federal casualties, which forced an eventual withdrawal. In November, 2001, I attended a small and relatively informal reenactment of the battle of Fredericksburg. About a hundred men and women did their best to illustrate the actions of the thousands of young men who offered their lives a century earlier. An air of absurd theater suffused the entire event, which provided the ground for its peculiar truth. Everyone played their part exceedingly honestly and well, and left something on the film I was myself surprised to find there.

Brian Frye

Kaddish (2002) color & b/w, 11 min

"Here is my covenant with you, says the Lord: My spirit that is upon you, and the words I have put in your mouth, will not depart from your mouth or the mouths of your children or the mouths of your children's children -- the Lord says -- from now through all eternity." -- Isaiah 59:21. A fragment of tinted nitrate. An acetate recording of a wedding ceremony. Echoes of the bitter sweetness of the Spirit on the tongue of Man. As Frampton tipped his hat to Gloria, so might I.

Brian Frye

Observations at Gettysburg, 6 July 2002 (2002) black and white, 10 min

"Man is full of sin and nature, and all he does don't bear looking at, and a heap of what he says is a shame and a mawkery. But cant no witness hurt him. Some day something might beat him, but it wont be Satan." -- William Faulkner in "A Fable". The annual Civil War re-enactment at Gettysburg is one of the largest and best attended in the country. Why Gettysburg? Partly because -- rightly or not -- we take it as the moment at which the outcome of the struggle for America was most in doubt. But truly because the words Lincoln spoke there made of it that moment, framing the struggle in its starkest terms. And so these people who believe in America come to perform its redemption. It is a passion-play, really, a dramatic evocation of the cataclysm in which a young nation expiated its sins in blood, and was reborn.

Brian Frye

Encomium (2003) black and white, 2 min

I shot this roll of film at a party Bard College threw when it awarded Stan Brakhage an honorary degree. A few days after he died, I dug it out and watched it again. I had meant to make Brakhage a gift of the roll, but instead it became a farewell.

Brian Frye

11/95: The Most Important Moment In My Life (Infinite Set) (1995) black and white, 3 min

Rental: $20.00

Brian Frye

3/95 Untitled (1995) black and white, 3 min

Rental: $20.00

Brian Frye

6/95: Striptease (1995) black and white, 3 min

Rental: $20.00

Brian Frye

Ladies Day (1997) black and white, 13 min

Rental: $20.00

Brian Frye

Meeting with Khruschev (1997) black and white, 35 min

How vitally will it affect the life of a modern Westerner when he learns, for example, that though the Indian peninsula was invaded and occupied by Alexander the Great and though his conquest had a capital influence on its history, India has not even remembered the great conqueror's name. -- Mircea Eliade, Myth and Reality

Rental: $50.00

Brian Frye

Untitled 1997 (1997) black and white, 3 min

Rental: $20.00

Brian Frye

Anatomy of Melancholy, The (1999) black and white, 10 min

What can consummate the 20th century and all its disasters? An opening in blood and terror, the gnashing of teeth and cracking bones, air as heavy as the burden of our souls in our throats; snap snap and all's well that ends in a second act to mirror the first. This short century, punctuated by the grandest catastrophes, waits patiently for its proper third and final act -- the players have lost their taste for soliloquy, but the gestures may yet come easily, and with the facility of one who no longer must watch that his hands do as told. Hence this "entr'acte"; a bowed head as a chariot approaches, the Sun King, waiting still for the moment when he might again assume his throne. Yea, for though they lament, the passion is theirs alone, the knife they hold to their own throats, waiting for that terrible voice which speaks in thunder and fire...

Rental: $20.00

Brian Frye

Francois Boue Services the Fragrance Machine at Bloomingdales (1999) color, 3 min

Rental: $20.00

Brian Frye

Broken Camera Reels 1&2 (2000) black and white, 5 min

Rental: $20.00

Brian Frye

In Love with Love (2000) black and white, 3 min

Rental: $20.00

Brian Frye

Lachrymae (2000) color, 3 min

".. and yet of that living breathing throng, not one will be encased in a material frame. A company of ghosts, playing to spectral music. So may the luminous larvae of the Elysian fields have rehearsed earth's well beloved scenes to the exiled senses of Pluto's Queen." -- W. K. L. Dickson

Rental: $20.00

Brian Frye

Nadja (2000) color, 3 min

"I speak in 'Nadja' of a naked woman totally preoccupied with herself in the sidestalls of the Electric Palace (quite undressed, seen from the central stalls): she would have seemed to me to be of a less phosphorescent whiteness if she had not appeared during the projection of a film of unlimited insanity in which everything was used as a pretext to show the 'Lord's Table.' This was the work of a priest who signed himself Peter the Hermit, and I think the film was called 'How I Killed My Child'." -- Andre Breton, "As in a Wood" Brakhage has called her the muse, perhaps because she appears only to those who hold a strip of film in their own hands. But here she appears -- if only for a moment -- to all those who care to look for her. "Let us speak plainly: The marvelous is always beautiful, anything marvelous is beautiful; indeed, nothing but the marvelous is beautiful." -- Andre Breton

Rental: $20.00

Brian Frye

Oona's Veil (2000) black and white, 8 min

Rental: $30.00

Brian Frye

Self-Portrait as Kaspar Hauser (For T. C.) (2000) color, 3 min

Rental: $20.00

Brian Frye

Eels of Chicago, The (2000) black and white, 2 min

Rental: $20.00

Brian Frye

Sunday Morning (2001) black and white, 2 min

Rental: $20.00

Brian Frye

Letter, The (2001) black and white, 11 min

Rental: $30.00

Brian Frye

American Boy Grows Up, An (2002) color, 2 min

Rental: $20.00

Brian Frye

Robert Beck is Alive and Well and Living in NYC (2002) black and white, 3 min

Rental: $20.00

Brian Frye

Brian Frye (2002) black and white, 12 min

Rental: $40.00

back to homepage