From Film Quarterly (Spring 1974). I wrote this review while I was living in Paris, which made acquiring a review copy especially difficult. (I grimly recall even getting into something resembling a fistfight with the French distributor of the book, who didn’t want to give me one and blew a fuse when I insisted, even though I had an assignment.) Stephen Koch, whom I knew from my previous stint as a graduate student at the State University of New York at Stony Brook, was a friend at the time, as was Annette Michelson, who commissioned the book for Praeger. My second-hand assessment of **** (Four Stars) came from another friend, Lorenzo Mans, who saw the entire film and reviewed it for the Village Voice, though I had attended a New York screening of Blue Movie, when it went by the title Fuck. -– J.R.
ANDY WARHOL’S WORLD AND HIS FILMS
BY Stephen Koch. New York: Praeger. $8.95.
Books about filmmakers that do something more than regurgitate filmographies and sketch career summaries are not exactly plentiful these days, and for this reason alone Stargazer is worthy of serious attention. What it attempts is not a mere pigeon-holing of Warhol’s films but a complex assessment of his persona and its accompanying strategies — in, through and beyond these films — as they flourished in the sixties.… Read more »
Commissioned by the French film magazine Positif and published, as two separate but adjacent pieces (critical article and interview), in their 158th issue (avril 1974). I don’t recall it ever appearing before now in English, at least in its entirety. I’ve given it a light edit. The interview was conducted by correspondence, with me in France and McBride in the U.S.
Happily, all three of the McBride films discussed here are available on DVD — David Holzman’s Diary and My Girlfriend’s Wedding paired together in the U.K. (with liner notes by me, available here) and Glen and Randa in the U.S. — J.R.
Due to their limited visibility, the three films of Jim McBride have tended to lead semi-legendary existences. Like seeds scattered to the wind, they’ve cropped up in unexpected places: DAVID HOLZMAN’S DIARY (1967) has been shown at film festivals (it won prizes in Mannheim and Pesaro) and cine-clubs, but not in theaters; MY GIRLFRIEND’S WEDDING (1969), an hour-long film that is not easy to program, turned up on the Second Channel [in France] in a Sunday night “Cine-Club” (autumn 1972), but has rarely been seen elsewhere. GLEN AND RANDA (1971), seen much more widely in the United States — and even making Time magazine’s “Ten Best” list of that year — has been slow in reaching Europe, and surfaced in Pesaro only last September.… Read more »