Early Open-Reel Video & Super-8 Films by Small-Gauge Pioneer Bill Creston

Bill Creston Mini-Retrospective: 1/2″ Open Reel Video & Super 8 Short Films Selections from 1967-2003

Millennium Film Workshop presents an evening of pioneering work in video and super 8 by one of the world’s most irreverent and absurdist media minds ever to hit the screen as both a performer, writer, director, cinematographer and editor. Bill Creston, now 81 years old, founded the video departments of both Cooper Union and The School of Visual Art, with his own equipment, and made the world’s first Video Diary. For his unusual visions of New York City, he was also the ONLY filmmaker to have truly been banned by the Collective for Living Cinema. The Museum of Modern Art honored him with a solo Cineprobe in 1989, but his work is rarely seen, so come to this wonderful event!

The program will include:

FIVE THIRTY AM TAXI REAR-VIEW MIRROR, 2003, color, sound, S/8. Captured on film in his rear view mirror while Creston is parked in his cab at dawn, a scene plays out between one man seeking the attention of another. Original voice-over dialogue. 1min 30sec.

LUNCH HOUR, 1996, b&w, sound, S/8. In this narrative, a young blue-collar worker and an old derelict (played by Creston), joined briefly by a young pan-handler, meet for a few moments in the sunshine along a wall in an industrial neighborhood one weekday at lunchtime. Also starring Dave Mumma and Clayton Brooks. 4min48sec

DUETS, 1996, color, sound, S/8. 5 mins. Funny dialogue by usually one but sometimes two or three people. Creston’s jokes are flawlessly timed and poignantly felt through his dead-pan humor. Starring Barbara Rosenthal, Dick Miller, Bill Creston, Cat Fisher, Ola Creston, Sena Clara Creston, Maddy Falk, David Falk, and others. 4mins50sec

CRIPPLE. 1970. Black and white, 1/2″ open reel to digital. Uncomfortable travel on uneven crutches in an unlikely environment. Improvisation by Carl Methfessel. 6mins 40sec.

S.E.G. 1974. Black and white, 1/2″ open reel to digital. A humorous experiment with a first-generation video Special Effects Generator, and the news story of an altercation between elderly roommates. 7 mins.

RUNNER, 1980, color, sound, S/8. Rapid segments shot in and around NYC with original music and sound usually cut in equal length to each image. The principle subject of the film is NY street Culture: birds, dogs, transportation, derelicts, pedestrians and seamy life intercut with a few fragments of nature, indoor and simple subjects. Each sound has been written as dialog or collected from the radio or produced by Creston on synthesyzer to accompany each image and establish attitude: amusement, amazement, contrast, bewilderment, humor, absurdity.” featured in Creston’s solo Cineprobe at MoMA, 1989.7min3sec

COUPONS 1989. color, sound, S/8. A day in the life of a couple in late middle-age. Starring Dick Miller and Lorraine Schanzer. 7mins 37sec

WYATT EARP, 1990. color, sound, S/8.. Segments of quick images from city and country, with original improvised dialog. Starring Dick Miller, Bill Creston, Barbara Rosenthal. 9min25sec

I SAW WHERE YOU WAS LAST NIGHT, 1985, color, sound, s/8. Segments of quick images from city and country, with original improvised diaglog. Starring Barbara Rosenthal, Bill Creston and Carl Methfessel. 14mins10sec

TAXI, TAXI, 1992, color/b&w, sound, S/8. Snippets of New York City caught during Creston’s 15 years as a NYC cab driver, with scenes scripted and edited, and some actual dialogue recorded. Starring Barbara Rosenthal, Bill Creston, Richard Osterweil. Original soundtrack and song ‚”Taxi-Taxi” by Bill Creston. This film was screened at the MoMA in “Big As Life: An American History of 8mm Film”. 1997-99. 15 mins.

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