Re: Gregory Markopoulos and queer aesthetics

From: Freya (email suppressed)
Date: Thu Dec 03 2009 - 18:16:55 PST

Now this is a really good question, or at least the underlying implication is!

The attack I was quoting was supposedly from "To Free the Cinema" by Andrew Sarris who was supposedly a big advocate of auteur cinema.

Supposedly he also had a big confronation at the New York film festival too.

To this I can only add that this was this is what I had heard repeatedly over the years but I think your underlying implication is more asking, to what extent do we know if any of this is true and this is a very good question!

There is contradictory information floating around out there. For example, I've heard it often mentioned that Gregory left the U.S. for Greece. Did he? People clearly trying to be more careful on this issue say that he left the U.S for Europe, which certainly seems to be the case but may not be the same thing! Obviously he ended up with a strong connection with Greece even teaching at a university in Athens but...

When I mentioned Kustom Kar Kommandos I wasalso at that moment thinking of the story that Mr Anger got the Ford motor company to pay for the film. What a great story! Certainly it makes me giggle even more when I add that thought to my memories of the film but is it actually the case? My suspicion is that this is just a completely made up story and there seems little evidence to support it. In fact there are quite a few stories revolving around Kenneth Anger that seem very questionable, many of which are often quoted and I wonder to what extent Kenneth himself has just made stuff up quietly laughing at the extent to which people will believe any old nonsense they are told without really questioning it.

Certainly in my own life more recently I have been quite suprised at the extent that people will believe any old made up tat and we've certainly even seen that a few times here on this list quite recently. In fact often the more bizzare and seemingly extreme and questionable stuff seems to spread more easily than stuff which might be more likely. I'm reminded of a saying a friend used to say to me long ago. "Funny beats true!" he would say, and how true that is!

Fred you seemed to imply that Gregorys attitude to the U.S. soured after he left for Europe, or at some time during his time in Greece. This seems to go against the more popular meme surrounding him, so I was suprised when I read this. Can I ask what evidence you have for this or how you have come to this impression? It seems to me more likely that bad experiences might cause someone to face the upheaval of relocating like this but perhaps it could be seen that he left for Europe and was so taken by the freedom and more positive attitudes over there that he slowly developed some bitterness for what he went through during his time when he was in the U.S.? Perhaps when he lived there he was more accepting of the way things were and it was actually his experiences away from that that made him see things differently? What is your take or impression on this?

It seems that often in the experimental film world, it's difficult to find information that can even partly be validated in some way. The sources for information are few and often somewhat innacessible. This seems to be changing over time but there also seems much that is unverifiable rumour. I guess this is one of the things that makes this list useful, as a place where you can question things and maybe find sources of information that might seem to be more factual on a subject.



--- On Thu, 12/3/09, Fred Camper <email suppressed> wrote:

> From: Fred Camper <email suppressed>
> Subject: Re: Gregory Markopoulos and queer aesthetics
> To: email suppressed
> Date: Thursday, December 3, 2009, 8:31 PM
> Quoting Freya <email suppressed>:
> > ....As for Gregorys attitude to the U.S. souring AFTER
> he left for  Europe, my understanding was that
> attitudes towards gay people in  the U.S. and in
> particular in the experimental film scene of the  time,
> played a big part in him leaving the U.S. in the first
> place.  Basically he was driven out of both....
> >
> > It's ironic to me that Gregory was so lambasted and
> attacked for  being "too obsessed with this homosexual
> thing"....
> Do you have any evidence for any of ths? Where did you get
> this information.
> I know of a notorious attack on an early Markopoulos film
> in "Films in Review," an attack so cowardly it didn't even
> use the "H-word," and then an early Jonas Mekas critique of
> homosexuality that he later retracted completely. These were
> no later than the 1950s. So what's your evidence for these
> statements?
> Fred Camper
> Chicago
> __________________________________________________________________
> For info on FrameWorks, contact Pip Chodorov at <email suppressed>.


For info on FrameWorks, contact Pip Chodorov at <email suppressed>.