Documentary

2002
Cecilia Dougherty, Kevin & Cedar

I arranged a visit to poet/novelist Kevin Killian’s South of Market apartment in San Francisco to shoot a portrait of him, and when I arrived he had a guest, poet Cedar Sigo. They had corresponded earlier, but were meeting for the first time, and Cedar agreed to participate in our video shoot. This is perhaps the least planned, most verité and documentary of the videos about writers so far. Our immediate plan was for Kevin to read one of Cedar’s poems and for Cedar to read one by Kevin.

2005
Kiarãsâ yõ Sâti: The Agouti's Peanut

The daily life of the Panará village during the peanut harvest, presented by a young teacher, a woman shaman and the village chief.

Direction and photography: Paturi and Komoi Panará

Editing: Leonardo Sette and Vincent Carelli

Production: Video in the Villages

2004
Kings of the Sky

An experimental documentary about resistance, balance and fame. Kings of the Sky follows tightrope artist Adil Hoxur as he and his troupe tour China’s Taklamakan desert amongst the Uyghurs, a Turkic Muslim people seeking religious and political autonomy.

The project was shot over four months with Adil and his troupe as we toured Chinese Turkestan, performing nightly in tiny oasis villages. Adil descends from a long line of Dawaz (tightrope) performers and is now teaching his daughters the craft. Since he first broke the Guinness World Record in 1997, Adil’s fame has eclipsed anything achieved by his forbears. He has become an inadvertent national icon for his people’s struggle, bearing uncanny resemblance to the Dawaz hero of an old Uyghur myth who once freed his countrymen from an oppressive reign of invading ghosts, an apt metaphor for the ongoing tension between the Uyghurs and the Han Chinese.

2010
Deborah Stratman, Kuyenda N'kubvina (Walking is Dancing)

Kuyenda N’kubvina looks at how thought and culture propagate in the slender nation of Malawi. Weaving our way through video halls, book stores, dance floors and radio stations, in cities and small villages, we meet Malawians who traffic in ideas, reflecting the rhythms of Malawian contemporary life. The video was instigated by the filmmaker’s relative ignorance about the people and culture of southeast Africa, and accompanies her as she seeks out individuals and infrastructures that channel and articulate Malawian identity.

2015
La Impresión De Una Guerra

For over 70 years, Colombia has been confronted with internal armed conflict. Over the years, the outlines of the conflict have grown indistinct. A climate of generalized violence has gradually settled over society as a whole.

Violence and barbarity have worked themselves into every aspect of daily life, and fine traces of it mark the streets. Through a multitude of these traces, perhaps the narrative of this hazy war will finally take a firmer shape. 

1979
The Laughing Alligator

The personal odyssey recorded in The Laughing Alligator combines methods of anthropological research with diaristic essay, mixing objective and subjective vision. Recorded while Downey and his family were living among the Yanomami people of Venezuela, this compelling series of anecdotes tracks his search for an indegenous cultural identity.

1998
Cecilia Dougherty, Laurie

Laurie was inspired by Laurie Weeks’ uncanny ability to simultaneously embody her characters and write them from a clear distance. The text in question is just a few paragraphs from a draft of the novel Zipper Mouth, more than ten years in the making, and published by the Feminist Press.

1998
Cecilia Dougherty, Leslie

In the early 1990s, I went to a reading by Leslie Scalapino at Intersection for the Arts in San Francisco. I could not understand the writing, which can seem difficult and unwieldy to a reader unaccustomed to language poetry, and understood less the more I tried. After a certain point in the reading I stopped trying to figure it out and I let the words seep in. My reward was an effortless understanding of how her poetry works.

2013
Let Us Persevere In What We Have Resolved Before We Forget

"We are happy. (Silence.) What do we do now, now that we are happy?"

-- Samuel Beckett, Waiting for Godot

1974
The Lord of the Universe

Sixteen-year-old guru Marahaj Ji attempts to levitate the Houston Astrodome in this 1973 DuPont award winning documentary. Follow the guru from his New York mansion to limousines in Houston and listen to his followers—celebrities and non-celebrities alike—extol his virtues. TVTV's creative use of graphics, live music, and wide-angle-lens shots to conveys the desperate efforts of these lost children to find a leader.

"If this guy is God, then this is the God the United States of America deserves." —Abbie Hoffman

2018
Lyndale, Oli Rodriguez

LYNDALE is a story of shifting family dynamics, told through the relationship of two brothers. Shot on ten different video formats, this experimental documentary is both the story of a Chicago family, and a record of the digital revolution in the early 2000s. The piece takes place over a six-year period during which filmmakers Oli Rodriguez and Victoria Stob shared a house with Rodriguez’s brother, Jeff.

2012
Tom Palazzolo, Vivian Maier Photographer

This 12-minute video by Tom Palazzolo and Chicago writer Jack Helbig tells the story of the recently discovered Chicago street photographer Vivian Maier. Though she was unknown in her lifetime, her extensive body of work is rewriting the history of post-World War II American street photography. The video, told from the point of view of Maier herself, recounts her life and work, from her childhood in France to her move to NYC in 1951 and subsequent relocation to Chicago, where the majority of her work was done.

1998
Making the Crystal Quilt

From The Crystal Quilt performance, Suzanne Lacy, Phyllis Jane Rose, Nancy Dennis, Sage Cowles, Minneapolis, 1987.

1988
Man with a Video Camera

After an all-night session of editing Free Society, Garrin headed home with video-8 camera in-hand, only to happen upon the Tompkins Square riots. As police tried to enforce a curfew aimed at removing homeless people from the park, Garrin began gathering footage of cops beating up protesters. He was then attacked by police himself, as the camera continued to roll. The footage was subsequently incorporated into Free Society, in which the military myth of "protect and serve" is dismantled by first-hand experience.

1997
Mapping a City of Fragments

Using the opening of Godard's film Alphaville as a foundation, Lord constructs a vision of the evolving global city during the last years of the 20th Century. Structured as a series of repetitions, the montage of the changing city is offset by shots of corporate Silicon Valley facades. The result is a dialectical contrast between urban and suburban space, body and mind, chaos and order, and the postmodern and the modern. Shot in Hi-8 video in Tokyo, Fukuoka City, Mexico City, Rome, San Francisco, Naples, and Los Angeles.