Freex German TV

Videofreex

1971 | 00:20:00 | United States | English | B&W | Mono | 4:3 | 1/2" open reel video

Collection: Videofreex Archive, Single Titles

Tags: European Film/Video, Film or Videomaking, Media Analysis

German filmmaker Valeska and her crew—soundwoman Constanza and cameraman Albert—arrive at Maple Tree Farm during the Thanksgiving holiday of 1971 to film a piece for German TV on the Videofreex. In this video, the Videofreex turn the tables so to speak, making the Germans’ filming process—and the artificiality of the filmmaker’s prefabricated shots—their subject. As a result, this video offers “behind-the-scenes” footage of both the Videofreex’ handling of microphones and Sony Portapaks, and the German crew as they set up their film equipment, create lighting environments, pose the group, and grow increasingly frustrated as the Freex poke fun and resist such social control.

For the Videofreex, much of their resistance to the German filmmaker stems from a fundamental dislike for the privileging of film over video, a credo that lies at the heart of their alternative media agenda and its emphasis on information, accessibility, and authenticity. In his biography of the Videofreex, member Parry Teasdale writes, “Film was the past, video was the future, and we let that German film crew know it right away” (Teasdale, Videofreex: America’s First Pirate TV Station and the Catskills Collective That Turned It On, 44).

—Faye Gleisser

 

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Stream Single Title

Title Awards Image Major Exhibitions/Festivals Description
Sea in the Blood

Equal First Prize for Best Male Short, Inside Out, Toronto Lesbian and Gay Film Festival

Sea in the Blood

OutFest (LA, CA.), 2001

Rotterdam International Film Festival (The Netherlands), 2001

 

Athens Int'l Film/Video Festival (OH), 2001

 

 

Sea In The Blood is a personal documentary about living with illness, tracing the relationship of the artist to thalassemia in his sister Nan, and AIDS in his partner Tim. At the core of the piece are two trips. The first is in 1962, when Richard went from Trinidad to England with Nan to see a famous hematologist interested in her unusual case. The second is in 1977 when Richard and Tim made the counterculture pilgrimage from Europe to Asia. The relationship with Tim blossomed, but Nan died before their return. The narrative of love and loss is set against a background of colonialism in the Caribbean and the reverberations of migration and political change.

"Sea in the Blood was to be a meditation on race, sexuality and disease, but after working with the material for three years, it was the emotional story that came through. It's hard to work with such personal material, but in the end the work takes on a life of its own. 'Richard' is a character. Because of the subject matter — disease and death — I wanted to avoid sentimentality. I'd like the audience to think as well as feel."

— Richard Fung