October 30: Danny Williams: Factory Films
Image by uniondocs
Three of Danny Williams’ intimate experimental portraits of the 60’s Warhol Factory, screened with an original, immersive live score by T. Griffin and Catherine McRae from The Quavers.
In 1966 Danny Williams disappeared. He was Andy Warhol’s lover, a filmmaker and the designer of the Velvet Underground Exploding Plastic Inevitable lightshow. Almost 40 years later, his niece Esther B. Robinson found 20 short films Williams made during the year before he vanished. Her documentary inquiry into his disappearance, A Walk into the Sea: Danny Williams and The Warhol Factory, has screened all over the world, won the coveted Teddy Award at the Berlin International Film Festival, and was released theatrically in 2008 by ArtHouse Pictures.
Danny Williams’ extraordinary intimate experimental portraits of the Warhol Factory bring us into that iconic moment with a tenderness and shimmering beauty that stand in fascinating contrast to Warhol’s own films made at the time. Lost for 40 years, these luminous documents are now finally available to be screened.
Factory Film by Danny Williams
USA, 1965, 22 minutes, digital projection, silent
Factory Film features amazingly intimate footage of Andy Warhol along with other factory stars like Brigid Berlin, Billy Name, and more.
Harold Stevenson Pts. 1 and 2 by Danny Williams, score by T. Griffin and Catherine McRae
USA, 1965, 40 minutes, live score
Harold Stevenson part 1 and 2 showcases an incandescent Edie Sedgwick along with Paul America, Ingrid Superstar and Gerard Malanga (among others). This film screens with a live soundtrack. For the luminous 40 minute film “Harold Stevenson parts 1 and 2″, T. Griffin and Catherine McRae have created a score for guitar, violin, samples and walkman. They have looked to the music that electrified The Factory in 1966 and created an immersive, oceanic abstraction of bubblegum pop, LaMonte Young-inspired drones and of course The Velvet Underground. Taking cues from modern ambient artists like Tim Hecker and Belong, Griffin and McRae bury melodies deep under shimmering drones that shift gradually over the films’ 40 minutes, evoking both the joyful optimism that pervades the footage and also the sense of lost history and promise that buried the films for almost 40 years.
The Velvet Underground by Danny Williams
USA, 1965, 9 minutes, digital projection silent
The earliest known footage of the VU, and stars the impossibly young-looking band rehearsing at the Factory. Featuring Lou Reed, John Cale, Maureen Tucker, Sterling Morrison, Gerard Malanga.
Esther Robinson is an award-winning filmmaker and producer. Her critically acclaimed directorial debut A Walk into the Sea: Danny Williams and The Warhol Factory took top prizes at The Berlin, Tribeca and Chicago film festivals; is currently in international theatrical release and available on The Sundance Channel/Netflix/I-tunes. Other producing projects include the film Home Page (Doug Block HBO/Cinemax) and PBS series Alive From Off Center. In addition to producing, Esther Robinson is also the founder of ArtHome (http://www.ArtHomeOnline.org) a nonprofit that helps artists build assets and equity through financial literacy, homeownership, self-sufficiency and the responsible use of credit.
T. Griffin is a songwriter, composer and producer working in Brooklyn, New York. Alone and with his band The Quavers he has released four critically acclaimed CDs of songs in a homespun electronic style that’s been described as ‘porch techno’. He has scored a dozen feature films and at least as many shorts, live projects, plays and art installations. Notable collaborations include Jem Cohen, Michael Almereyda, Peter Sillen, Tze Chun, Kimberly Reed, Anne Bogart, Esther B. Robinson, Sam Green and Brent Green.
As a producer and player he has worked with musical luminaries including Vic Chesnutt, Patti Smith, Tom Verlaine and members of godspeed you! black emperor, DJ/Rupture, Fugazi and The Ex. Griffin was a 2008 fellow at the Sundance Institute Composer’s Lab.
Catherine McRae has played violin and electronics and sung with The Quavers and T. Griffin Coraline, two collaborations with T. Griffin over the last 8 years, as well as numerous live collaborations with Griffin and Filmmakers such as Jem Cohen and Brent Green. She has also collaborated and toured internationally with the band Barbes and with the stage director Richard Maxwell, and performed with Patti Smith.
Scott Macaulay is a New York-based producer and the Editor-in-Chief of Filmmaker Magazine, the leading American magazine devoted to independent film. In this position, he directs the magazine’s editorial content, including special features such as its annual “25 New Faces.” As a producer and along with his partner, Robin O’Hara, and his production company, Forensic Films, Macaulay has produced or executive produced many award-winning features. They include: Peter Sollett’s Raising Victor Vargas; Harmony Korine’s Gummo and julien donkey-boy; Alice Wu’s Saving Face; Tom Noonan’s What Happened Was and The Wife; Jesse Peretz’s The Chateau’ Bryan Barber’s Idlewild; and James Ponsoldt’s Off the Black. Most recently, he produced artist Candice Breitz’s video and performance piece “New York, New York” for Performa ’09. He was formerly the Programming Director of The Kitchen Center for Video, Music, Dance, Performance and Film.
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