IMDb > Ballad of the Skeletons (1997)

Ballad of the Skeletons (1997) More at IMDbPro »


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It all comes together See more (2 total) »



Directed by
Gus Van Sant 
Writing credits
(in alphabetical order)
Allen Ginsberg 
Gus Van Sant 

Produced by
Dany Wolf .... producer
Original Music by
Allen Ginsberg 
Philip Glass 
Paul McCartney 
Cinematography by
Eric Alan Edwards 

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10 out of 11 people found the following review useful.
It all comes together, 17 October 2002
Author: Neal Velgos ( from Los Angeles

Having just seen this approximately four minute film on the big screen, I am awash in admiration. A close-up of Allen Ginsberg reciting his "skeletons" poem is bluescreened and dissolved against archival film and video clips, and backed by musicians to create a sort of song that becomes an American anthem. These clips predominantly feature images of the Dole/Clinton presidential campaign, but also include familiar and disturbing 1960s civil rights conflicts. The immediacy of Ginsberg looking and speaking full-on into the camera, to us, is striking and impossible to forget.

What does it mean? I wish I could watch it again and decide. Surely Ginsberg and Van Sant have produced more meaningful work separately, but the combination with the music makes a brilliant whole. This is an extension of Van Sant's 1991 filmic version of William S. Burroughs' Thanksgiving poem, and the two short films are weird and poignant tributes to these great writers.

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