Inside PennSound



Henry Hills
Experimental Video and Film


photo © 2008 Charles Bernstein/PennSound


Tzadik DVD Cover
DVD anthology Selected Films (1977-2008) 
released by Tzadik


Henry Hills on Close Listening
Hills in conversation with Charles Bernstein
New York: January 10, 2008: MP3 (30:41)


EMMA'S DILEMMA, 1997-2004

Selections from Henry Hills' unfinished project featuring Emma Bee Bernstein, Susan Howe, Ken Jacobs, Richard Foreman, Kenneth Goldsmith, Julie Patton, Lee Ann Brown, and many more.



Little Lieutenant, collaboration with Sally Silvers, 1994

 

A New Life, 1988-1998

(to watch in full screen, 17:50) A New Life (1988-98). In 1988, under the inspiration of George Kuchar, I bought an 8mm camcorder. The single-system 16mm camera on which I had shot PLAGIARISM, RADIO ADIOS, & MONEY had died of stress and I thought  this would allow me to pursue synch ideas. Unfortunately video editing at that time involved bumping the footage up to 3/4" U-matic and paying $12.50/hour to work on 2 decks with a controller; it was cheaper to shoot 16mm and get a workprint. The conceit of the abandoned project was to create artist couples (people that had never before met) and have them discuss relationship issues and love.  Participating artists include Joe Gibbons, Lee Katz, Emily Breer, Robert Hilferty, Eve Heller, and Roberto Juarez. Alongside this  footage was an ongoing discussion with Charles Bernstein on the implications of working in video as opposed to film. Plus, one cold morning when nothing was working out, I addressed the camera directly in a (what seemed at the time desperate and harrowing but now seems Woody-Allen-ish) scene that is central to the final edit. The footage  sat on my shelf haunting me for a decade and I decided in 1998 to use it to free myself from the past while at the same time learning to use home computer editing software. As my major appearance in my own  work, it's perhaps endearing.

The edit is punctuated with 3/4" footage recording the December 1985 "live reenactment" of MONEY at Roulette, with John Zorn  on birdcalls and alto, Cyro Baptiste on Brazilian percussion, the late Tom Cora on cello, Charles Noyes and Ikue Mori on drums, Jim Staley on trumbone, Butch Morris on cornet, Christian Marclay on turntables, and Alan Davies and Diane Ward on vocals, with movement by Pooh Kaye and Sally Silvers.


GOTHAM, 1990

(to watch in full screen, 2:13) Gotham (1990), a music video for John Zorn's Naked City.
"120 Minutes", MTV, June 1990; ALIVE TV (Alive From Off Center), PBS, summer 1992.


MONEY, 1985

(to watch in full screen, 14:27) Money (1985) is a manic collage film from the mid-80s when it still seemed that Reaganism of the soul could be defeated. Filmed primarily on the streets of Manhattan for the ambient sounds and movements and occasional pedestrian interaction to create a rich tapestry of swirling colors and juxtaposed architectural spaces in deep focus and present the intense urban overflowing energy that is experience living here. MONEY is thematically centered around a discussion of economic problems facing avant-garde artists. Discussion, however, is fragmented into words and phrases and reassembled into writing. Musical and movement phrases are woven through this conversation to create an almost operatic composition. Give me money! Starring: John Zorn, Diane Ward, Carmen Vigil, Susie Timmons, Sally Silvers, Ron Silliman, James Sherry, Peter Hall, David Moss, Mark Miller, Christian Marclay, Arto Lindsay, Pooh Kaye, Fred Frith, Alan Davies, Tom Cora, Jack Collom, Yoshiko Chuma, Abigail Child, Charles Bernstein, Derek Bailey, and Bruce Andrews.
More information on the film



RADIO ADIOS, 1982

(to watch in full screen, 10:28) RADIO ADIOS (1982) is a monologue in 12 plaited strands; an extremely precise, condensed and intensely rhythmic Busby Berkeleyish spectacle of an examination of conversational and literary language over a fair range of vocal timbre, microphones, volume settings and single-system sync peculiarities and its dissolution into music to the accompaniment of simultaneous Manhattan ambiances punctuated by fragments of jazz, personalized handheld camera movement, movement from cut to cut--juxtapositions of scale, pulsating changes in light intensity, a varying pallette of various filmstocks, generations, etc., at an appropriately furious pace and in strict one-track sync,.offering simultaneously several levels of apprehension or interpretation to encourage multiple viewings.

Starring Hannah Weiner, Diane Ward, Sally Silvers, Jemeel Moondoc & Muntu, Aline Mayer, Jackson MacLow, Abigail Child, Charles Bernstein, Bruce Andrews and Rashied Ali on drums, with George Kuchar as a Maoist revolutionary.
More information on the film


KINO DA!, 1981

(to watch in full screen, 1:42) KINO DA! (ah, key, key) KINO DA!/The Dead die die dada low king quanto zhong/MOVE! (ur, ur)/Grey todays it-a clear to the quick ear, quicker z'heels/The Poe (pay, po, pee, pick-pick), nuf of "D" yet/Call Vertov/(beep, beep)/Eisenstein even/& viterulably cheeness of a ram innerwear/(airs; when)/Time, Time, Money/d-d-d/ junk rock did travel & falls/(spring)/Fall/Spring is the simplest inflationary dime.///Be in everything Joy, in experimental & proletarian & wwea air of airs/at this school of poetry-painting/CUT! "To know/toe/no! no! MONTAGE (nadazha), in any instant (instant) of the writing of Stein & the facts of that (tle) kind./FEEL (the steak)/yes, ache, in trends & whatevers./Mmmm-pah-ah, Cops, man, in case (nnn), man (nnn)./(KO) be-a mayu po pony; (KO) be-a what?) o-long kind.//GO! (be what) OM, prose, Pentacost; be what this there the (pause) & (serious pause) the neb with a gram of ire illia-it's still justs Jah.//Viparko r-rrr re ad adici, yes!/YES!//ssssssssssane! /mmmm vidda pot re-a-uschious of a ship. Viparko Roma Schoma Schlav keybo z'Krushchev. (wink)
More information on the film



Henry Hills on PennSound Daily


These .mov recordings are being made available for noncommercial and educational use only.
All rights to this recorded material belong to the author. © 2005 Henry Hills.
Used with permission of Henry Hills. Distributed by PennSound.
Close Listening © 2008 Charles Bernstein and Henry Hills.


photo ©2006 Charles Bernstein/PennSound