A collection of short movies from the long career (1936-1999) of Rudy Burckhardt
1941, color, 4 min.
A soldier on a weekend pass, with Kodachrome in his camera, takes a leisurely walk on both sides of the tracks. Piano by Earl Hines.
1965, black and white, 36.5 min.
“Happy with his luscious daughter Aurora in a rustic setting, Professor Borealis has devised an improved brain and is ready to transplant it. The humor is tenderly black. Burckhardt's fusion of documentary-type photography with fairytale storyline is nearer Keystone than avant-garde with its visual honesty and particular virtuosity.” - Edwin Denby. With Edwin Denby, Red Grooms, Mimi Gross. Music selected by Frank O'Hara.
1968, black and white, 45 min.
A silent screen-type comedy starring Edwin Denby as Hemlock Stinge, the unlovable billionaire. “The characters are all pretty bad, money is the root of all evil, and they ought not to enjoy themselves but they do anyway.” - Edwin Denby. With John Ashbery, Alex Katz, John Bernard Myers, Titus Welliver(These four are bit players. The main actors, besides Edwin, are Neil Welliver, Red Grooms, Mimi Gross, Rackstraw Downes, Selina Strong). Text by Joe Brainard. “Money” song by Tony Ackerman and Kim Brody.
1981, color, 22 min.
“This filmic slice of life coalesces into an ethnographic view of a possible future: the city as a constantly bubbling, delirious playground where yesterday's monuments are symbols to be triumphed over, and tomorrow never arrives. Perhaps this is why the ultimate effect is one of wistfulness, due also to the unexpected intrusion of a memento mori in the guise of a nude traversing the Maine woods…” - Trevor Winkfield
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1936, silent, black and white, 10 min.
With Paul Bowles, Aaron Copland, Edwin Denby, John Latouche, Virgil Thomson.
1943, color, 8 min.
With Calypso music.
A Day in the Life of a Cleaning Woman
1953, silent, black and white, 13 min.
With Anne Porter, Fairfield Porter, Larry Rivers, Edith Schloss.
1967, color, 2 min.
Poem by Kenneth Koch. Music by Tony Ackerman and Brad Burg. Singing by Kim Brody.
1971, black and white, 33 min.
“A pseudo-educational, fictitious documentary survey of the ups, downs, ins and far-outs of Dope. Very funny and slightly sinister, like Red Skelton in the sky with diamonds. - Ron Padgett. With Jacob Burckhardt, Jim Carroll, Edwin Denby, William Dunas, Larry Fagin, Joan Fagin, Red Grooms, Yvonne Jacquette, Edmund Leites, Tessie Mitchell, Larry Rivers, Peter Schjeldahl, Anne Waldman. Music by Tony Ackerman and John Cage.
1973, color, 6 min.
Looking down at nature's small works in the woods of Maine, then straight up at the sky, then down again at the daylong journey of an inchworm. Bird sounds recorded by Jacob Burckhardt.
1980, black and white, 3 min.
1989, color, 16 min.
Poem by John Ashbery. Piano music by Alvin Curran (Era Ora and For Cornelius).
1991, color, 22 min.
Elliott Carter's composition of the same title inspired Rudy Burckhardt, in collaboration with Yvonne Jacquette, to photograph this collage-style film. Mostly shot in New York City, but also in Hong Kong and Searsmont, Maine. Dance by Robert Black, Yoshiko Chuma, Grazia Della-Terza, Douglas Dunn, Dana Reitz, Harry Sheppard.
1950, black and white, 20 min.
Larry is a madly energetic, oversexed artist. Jane, a combination of palm reader and psychoanalyst, is trying to straighten him out. John is a straight boy interested in baseball who ends up an abstract painter. Partially shot at the Museum of Modern Art. With John Ashbery, Jane Freilicher, Larry Rivers. Music by Duke Ellington and Thelonius Monk.
Under The Brooklyn Bridge
1953, black and white, 15 min.
“…one cannot deny its documentary value or Burckhardt's eye for detail, his unpretentiousness. There are sequences - the children swimming under the Brooklyn Bridge is one - which belong with the best footage on New York by anybody.” - Jonas Mekas, The Village Voice. Music by Claude Debussy and Francis Poulenc played on two pianos by Arthur Gold and Robert Fizdale.
1955, black and white, 5 min.
Made in collaboration with Joseph Cornell. “Rudy Burckhardt photographed this impression of New York's Union Square under Joseph Cornell's direction. This location held a particular fascination for Cornell, who wanted to establish a foundation for artists and art therapy there. In the film he treats the park as an outdoor aviary.” - P. Adams Sitney
East Side Summer
1959, color, 11 min.
Piano by Thelonius Monk.
1967, color, 6.5 min.
A Saturday night on 42nd Street, from dusk to dawn: the glamour, the garbage, the hot dogs, the movies, the sex, and the violence in the air. Music by The Supremes.
One Flight Up
1969, sound, color, 5 min.
With Alex Katz. (To me this doesn't sound adequate, but I'm not sure exactly what would be. “filmed around a work by AK”?)
1972, color, 18 min.
“The New Jersey Turnpike and downtown New York in rain and shine. Trailer trucks, overpasses, and industrial wastes become natural wonders. The stream of trucks is often gay, buts sometimes ominous. After a thunderstorm, the pike gives way to charming and sexy shoppers on 14th Street. Real sounds and wonderful color.” - Edmund Leites
1975, black and white, 19.75 min.
When New York was about to go bankrupt, all construction had stopped and an architect tried to become a wrecker. This is the story of the demolition of a large factory building on 23rd Street and 6th Avenue. Meanwhile daily business - grimy or funny, money or no money - goes on as usual. Music by Thelonius Monk and Edgar Varèse.
Sodom and Gomorrah, New York 10036 Abe Beame Mayor
1976, color, 6.5 min.
A documentary about the sex industry around 8th Avenue and 42nd Street.
1999, color, 9 min.
Collaboration with and music by Tom Burckhardt.