Crime or Violence

2003
STERLING RUBY, COOK

Transcription of voice over from COOK: "I’m a chemist/I’m a cooker/I’m a manufacturer and a distributor/I’ll do whatever the fuck I want in the privacy of my own home." 

A disguised and threatening voice repeats this rhythmic slogan over found footage of meth labs seized by law enforcement. Made in 2003, this video remains eerily relevant, addressing the violent and irrational impulses underlying the American Dream of free enterprise.

1990
Annie Goldson & Chris Bratton, Counter Terror: North of Ireland

This video takes its departure from the BBC's coverage of the killing of three IRA volunteers by British Security Forces in Strabane, a small town on the border between Northern Ireland and the Irish Republic. Interrogating television discourse, the video examines what is referred to as the British “shoot to kill” policy of planned assassination in the North.

2008
Deliver

Like a generation of viewers, I was profoundly affected by Deliverance.  But I have always been troubled by the hegemonic structures of gender proposed by Boorman and Dickey. Hence, my version is played by women: myself, Peggy Ahwesh, Jackie Goss, Su Friedrich, and Meredith Root, all experimental filmmakers who work as academics. While faithful to our respective male characters, we also play ourselves.

2005
Donigan Cumming: Controlled Disturbance

This three-DVD collection features 18 titles, 10 years of videography, and over six hours of material by Donigan Cumming.

"Cumming has said that it is his intention to question, "the myth of the innocent, invisible photographic witness." Borrowing from what he calls, "experimental ethnography," Cumming consciously positions himself not only as investigator, but also participant, caretaker and friend. Thus his examinations of human frailty are always tempered by a compassion that stems from his own involvement in the situations he records."

2001
Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde

Imagine that the camera is possessed with a psychosis similar to human schizophrenia; suppose that this disease subtly changes every single frame of film while leaving the narrative superficially intact. Then imagine that these symptoms came on as a result of the trauma of recording bizarre or horrific events, for instance those of the 1941 horror film Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde...

Adapted from the novel by Robert Louis Stevenson.

This title is also available on Paul Bush Pixilated.

2005
Ensayo de un Crimen (Rehearsal for a Crime)

An homage to Luis Bunuel's The Criminal Life of Archibaldo de la Cruz with a twist to these days control systems of security. From the moment we are suspects we are potential culprits. Therefore we are all guilty.

This title is also available on Half-Lies: The Videoworks of Ximena Cuevas.

2007
Everywhere was the Same

In an empty room, a slideshow projection of abandoned places plays alongside the narrative of two girls who find themselves on the shores of a pre-apocalyptic paradise. Told through subtitle text that weaves fact and fiction together, the story of a massacre unfolds. When the image and text malfunctions and the story is no longer comprehensible, the video wanders away from the room of the slideshow, allowing us to see what is happening elsewhere.

2002
Eye/Machine II

"How can the distinction between "man" and "machine" still be made given today's technology? In modern weapons technology the categories are on the move: intelligence is no longer limited to humans. In Eye/Machine II, Farocki has brought together visual material from both military and civilian sectors, showing machines operating intelligently and what it is they see when working on the basis of image processing programs. The traditional man-machine distinction becomes reduced to "eye/machine", where cameras are implanted into the machines as eyes.

2004
Forbidden to Wander

Forbidden to Wander chronicles the experiences of a 25-year-old Arab American Christian woman traveling on her own in the occupied territories of the West Bank and Gaza Strip during the summer of 2002. The film is a reflection on the complexity of Palestinian existence and the torturously disturbing “ordinariness” of living under constant curfew. The film’s title reflects this, as the Arabic words used to describe the imposed curfew “mane’ tajawwul” literally translate as “forbidden to wander”.

1969
Fred Hampton: Black Panthers in Chicago

The Videofreex conducted this interview with Fred Hampton, the Deputy Chairman of the Illinois chapter of the Black Panther Party, in October 1969, just over a month before he was killed by the Chicago police.

2007
The Ghost of Dr. Foo

A sweeping saga of an evil matriarch and her march to infamy as she invades the hearts and souls of those organs and entities that reside in the male physique. A lustful excursion to the far corners of the globe as this vixen of vice weaves an occult web of sticky substances guaranteed to gummy up the gals and grease down the guys.

2003
The GODmother

This crime drama made with my students at the San Francisco Art Institute is a mixed bag of colorful misadventures featuring a wayward member of the clergy and a corrupting, femme fatale with bangs. The couple open a casino of ill repute with money acquired during their murderous rampage upon the population of a small community of churchgoers. The action is fast and cheap because of the $400 budget, and the cast attractive because youth itself is always beautiful.

2007
Haute Surveillance

This video develops from a real event that took place during a theater seminar in the masters degree program at the University of Antioquia in Medellín, Columbia.  The seminar occurred during one of the university's worst periods of violence.  Two students in charge of a presentation on the life and work of French author Jean Genet decided to play a hoax on their fellow students - a hoax that involved an armed kidnapping.  Their idea was to perform the ethos of Genet's work rather than to represent it in a conventional way.

1970
Hells Angels' Run

In this tape, shot in August 1970, a number of Hells Angels are interviewed on the street in New York City. They talk about their bikes and their preparations for a “run”, and their reactions to the way they are portrayed by the mainstream media.

2013
Basma Alsharif, Home Movies Gaza

Home Movies Gaza introduces us to the Gaza Strip as a mircrocosm for the failure of civilization. In an attempt to describe the everyday of a place that struggles for the most basic of human rights, this video claims a perspective from within the domestic spaces of a territory that is complicated, derelict, and altogether impossible to separate from its political identity.

"... Basma Alsharif’s Home Movies Gaza, a film that captures the impossibly politicized domestic sphere of the Gaza Strip, under the constant hum and buzz of overhead drones."