Love it or hate it this is a difficult film to ignore
Tony Conrad, who died last year, was a film-maker, musician and artist and yet, apart from a coterie of people involved in these fields, virtually no-one has ever heard of him. Hopefully this superb documentary by Tyler Hubby should rectify that and restore Conrad to his rightful place in the avant-garde. Of course, the off-putting term here for many will be 'avant-garde' which often means inaccessible or at least something appealing only to the minority.
His work in cinema, for example, only extends to three almost never seen shorts though he did act as the Sound Recordist on Jack Smith's "Flaming Creatures". As a musician he was involved with 'The Dream Syndicate' and The Velvet Underground and does anyone even know who 'The Dream Syndicate' were? In more recent years, in the UK, it was the Tate Modern who championed his work, even screening this documentary. Consequently seeing this film will be problematic for many presuming, of course, that there is an audience for a film about a minimalist avant-garde artist who played scratchy violin. However, on its own somewhat rarefied terms Hubby's film is both fascinating and rather brilliant, as pictures about 'eccentrics' often are. Love it or hate it this is a difficult film to ignore.
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