Gordon Ball

Georgia (1966) 16mm, color, 3.5 min

Genre: Experimental

A perfect tone poem of film-within its short time limit, it contains much of the beauty of night and the sensuality of women... perhaps THE woman one sometimes sees dancing in the night, but never touches in the flesh. Dream-like, beautiful -- its brevity compacts its power and renders it haunting. -- William R. Trotter GEORGIA is a good example of a new genre of film that has been developing lately, and that is, a portrait film. in some cases, like those of Brakhage, Warhol, or Markopoulos, there is an attempt at an objective portrait of a man or woman; in other cases, like in the case of GEORGIA, the portrait becomes completely personalized, poetically transposed; it may not be as multi-faced, as say, Brakhage's portrait of McClure, but an inspired portrait nevertheless, in the vein of a single-minded lyrical love poem. -- Jonas Mekas

Rental: $30.00
16mm Rental: $30.00

Gordon Ball

Farm Diary (1970) 16mm, Regular 8mm, color, 64 min

Genre: Experimental

Keywords: Environment & Nature

The Farm's first ten months. Peter Orlovsky, Candy O'Brien, Allen Ginsberg, Julius Orlovsky, Gordon Ball, Ed The Hermit, Gregory Corso, Bessie, Panda Manda, Godly & Sadeyes, Myon Wiles, Stephen Bornstien, Papa Duck, Barbara Pionteck, Amy Raccoon, Herbert Huncke, Malcom & Tyger, Brahma, Vishnu & Shiva, Jim Forratt, Sonja, Lygia, Cyril, Enrique, Louis Cartwright, Maretta, salamanders, hawkeyes, timothy, yarrow, morning glories, corn, pumpkin, elm, maple, ash, & many other energies. Cleaning the well, reading the paper, chanting Prajna Paramitra Sutra, tilling the earth, sipping coffee, picniking, the sun setting, the sun rising, mist settling, motoring through the countryside, building the woodshed, digging for the hidden well, the morning walk, bathing, horseshoing, caressing the cow, cutting wood, the annual parade, the sun yellowing leaves, the leaves wrinkling, the leaves fallen and blown, the snow, sledding, bearing water through the snow, 17 below, the blizzard. the end. Gordon Ball spent long patient seasons milking Bessie, tilling the earth, and squinting through 8mm lenses at home nature on mountain top farm filled with ghostly strangers and so documents and archetypal first year back to the land. -- Allen Ginsburg [available on Super 8 or 16mm]

Rental: $100.00
16mm Rental: $100.00
Reg8mm Rental: $100.00

Gordon Ball

About My House (1977) Regular 8mm, color & b/w, 38.5 min

Genre: Experimental

Keywords: Personal / Diary / Journal

Tiny details of Everyday indoors and out, over a year -- moon reflected on rosebowl, soughing leaf patterns at sunset on pale wall, hoe and shovel resting at corn's feet, building excavation across the street, adam's apple gulping in sunlight, breakfast dishes & pantry secrets, hands folded on lap, window sill meditation of cat...: a home-movie diary.

Rental: $40.00
Reg8mm Rental: $40.00

Gordon Ball

Sitting (1977) 16mm, color, 1.75 min

Genre: Experimental

Keywords: Biography & Autobiography

Sitting meditation study. First work after I laid down camera seven years -- thus newskin concentration on breath-body precise rhythm attention.

Rental: $30.00
16mm Rental: $30.00

Gordon Ball

Father Movie (1978) 16mm, Super 8, color, 9.75 min

Keywords: Biography & Autobiography

Made spontaneously with the news of my fathers death -- i kept a friends instamatic super-8 in coat pocket as I headed to Winston-Salem and the rest home where my father died of a sudden stroke overnight. I filmed on a highway, in his abandoned rest home room, then drove weeping and filming at the same time, one hand on wheel, one holding camera, past the houses -- my sisters, his own, -- he and my mother had lived after retirement from life's work abroad. In his two film of the last days and death of his father, and the life and death of his mother, Gordon Ball has accomplished something unique in the autobiographical genre of motion pictures. he has reconciled still ( as the mind would have it remembering) with movie and DOCUMENT (in the form of home movies) with the 'myth' of his voice track.' -- Stan Brakhage [available on super 8mm or 16 mm]

Rental: $30.00
16mm Rental: $30.00
Super8 Rental: $30.00

Gordon Ball

Prothalamion (1978) 16mm, Super 8, color, 4 min

Genre: Documentary

Wedding song: friend Tom Cleveland gave me one roll of film and camera to shoot his wedding ceremony in bride's ancestral Charlotte, N. C. house rainy December's end 1977. [available on super 8mm or 16mm]

Rental: $30.00
16mm Rental: $30.00
Super8 Rental: $30.00

Gordon Ball

Birds Nest Soup (1979) 16mm, color, 4.00 min

Genre: Narrative

Keywords: Ethnic / Multicultural

In ancient China, an esteemed Gentleman's highest culinary honor was being served this most delicate soup; so it is hoped a similar honor will be felt by the viewer when his aerial subject is presented.

Rental: $30.00
16mm Rental: $30.00

Gordon Ball

Enthusiasm (1979) 16mm, color & b/w, 13.00 min

Genre: Experimental

Keywords: Personal / Diary / Journal

It began with 'ENTHUSIASM'. I first leaned 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 likable festival fare. for the 14 long minutes that ENTHUSIASM claimed the screen, a roomful of unprepared viewers was confronted with a filmmakers account of his mothers 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 the front of a camera. They preserve the memory of a time which existed before we children came. In them the subject, even with age, is always alive. Ball's story, replete with the mundane, un-talked 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 unique family image in brown, black, and white, and color photos collecting an older generations poignant enthusiasm romances marriages socials graces and native myths. Narrated in flashbacks from his parents graves intermixed with chronological soundtrack account of their buried histories, awkward hones and raw-voiced, hesitant and sincere, whereby Gordon Ball makes you cry for life itself. -- Allen Ginsberg

Rental: $32.00
16mm Rental: $32.00

Gordon Ball

Mexican Jail Footage (1980) 16mm, color, 17.30 min

Genre: Documentary, Experimental

Keywords: History

Images from 1968 events combined with 1980 voice recollections. Paranoid surreptitious camera records daily events and posturing of 25 gringos jailed without charge-and fellow Mexican prisoners-prior to the 1968 Mexico City Olympics. Was there collusion behind this? We were never told but this was at a height of national polarization, when American tourists in Mexico were shocked to find more of the youths they thought they'd left behind -- and when Mexican Government was administering national preening in its own paranoiac anticipation of the international Olympics exposure six months later. The soundtrack narration's culled from a much longer account I wrote of the event: it is told as directly as I could tell it. 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 NORTH CAROLINA ANVIL

Rental: $37.00
16mm Rental: $37.00

Gordon Ball

Clouds of Glory (1981) 16mm, color, 12.30 min

Genre: Experimental

Keywords: Children & Youth, Family, Personal / Diary / Journal

Last three months of Kathleen's pregnancy; first week of Daisy's life. 'the soul that rises with us, our life's star/ hath had elsewhere its setting/ and cometh from afar/ not in entire forgetfulness/ and not in utter nakedness/ but trailing clouds of glory do we come/ from God who is our home.' Wordsworth, Ode: Imitations of Immortality from 'recollections of early childhood' Viewers of some of my last four films have offered suggestions for programming-projecting FATHER MOVIE and ENTHUSIASM as companion films, for instance. Lately, I've been seeing the most recent three as a trilogy offering metaphor of existence -- CLOUDS OF GLORY (birth), MEXICAN JAIL FOOTAGE (prison life-bodily existence), and ENTHUSIASM (death). And, as it happens, current work in progress (Oct. '82) TH'FIRMAMENT, is set in the heavens-not in celebration of wished-for afterlife but of divine emptiness.

Rental: $30.00
16mm Rental: $30.00

Gordon Ball

Millbrook (1985) 16mm, color, 9.00 min

Genre: Experimental

Keywords: Environment & Nature

For aeons it's been the human family around a fire constructing and refiguring its basic myths: it's our earliest family or tribal "movie." So MILLBROOK recounts a mythical "true story," a life-changing event told against fire, the emblem of consumption and renewal: In the enormous forested estate once used by Timothy Leary, a young couple lose individual identity, merge with decaying leaves and are consumed by maggots as entire universe undergoes entropy, revive as it regenerates and are saved from death by a mysterious familiar stranger.

Rental: $30.00
16mm Rental: $30.00

Gordon Ball

Do Poznania Conversations in Poland (1991) 16mm, color, 17.00 min

Genre: Documentary

Keywords: Landscape & Architecture

Personal glimpses of Polish life immediately preceding glasnost. Filmed during my two month-long visits (1986, 1988) as American Literature and Culture Specialist at Adam Mickiewicz University, it offers everyday street scenes, crumbling building facades, remains of death camps Auschwitz and Birkenau, Solidarity monument at Gdansk's Lenin Shipyard and traveling shots of idyllic countryside, all in a handheld camera style: personal, raw, rapid, eccentric, intense -- the opposite of Lowell Thomas or PBS. Charging the rapidly fleeting images are gists of conversations with Poles in which I took part, re-created back in US -- health and financial problems, queuing, environmental issues, Chernobyl, food, communists, anti-Semitism, "free" education and work under Soviet socialism. The "voices" I re-present are urgent and multiple, and enrich the images with ambiguity, contradiction and personal history. This film (pronounced "Doe Pohznawnia") is an unpretentious, unconventional, unimposing and uncompromising record of life in the last (and in some ways, worst) days of a regime whose loss of power was just around the corner.

Rental: $40.00
16mm Rental: $40.00

Gordon Ball

Films By Gordon Ball (1966-1991) DVD_NTSC, color, 68 min

Genre: Experimental

Keywords: biography, family, history, political / social activism

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.

This anthology selects seven works and includes an interview with Ball by filmmaker and archivist Tom Whiteside.
Films included:
Georgia (1966)
Sitting (1977)
Father Movie (1978)
Enthusiasm (1979)
Mexican Jail Footage (1980)
Millbrook (1985)
Do Poznania [To Poznan]: Conversations in Poland (1991)

DVD NTSC Sale: $30.00 for individual & 60.00 for educational

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