Portraits and Home Movies

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Portraits & Home Movies

Larry Fagin
New York
Fall 1968–Spring 1969

Clockwise from top left: Anne Waldman and Lewis Warsh, Larry Fagin, Ted Berrigan, Gerard Malanga, Joan Fagin, the lake at Central Park.

During the Fall of 1968 and through the next spring, I fooled around with a cheap Super 8 movie camera, making three-minute portraits of poet friends. I completed seven of these, planned others, and hoped to add music. I also shot some rolls of “our gang” goofing off at a beautiful pink house on Long Island, which belonged to Bill Berkson’s mother. Another roll shows the ongoing poker game at Dick Gallup’s apartment. This ritual was eventually moved to George Schneeman’s and had a fifteen-year run. Hannah Weiner took the wedding footage. Joan Inglis and I were married by Michael Allen, the pastor of St. Mark’s Church in-the-Bowery. Both the ceremony and the reception were held in the Schneemans’ large apartment on St. Mark’s Place. Lewis Warsh was my best man and Anne Waldman was the bridesmaid. Attendees were a who’s who of the East Village poetry and art scene. In spite of (or because of) social upheaval and the war in Vietnam, it was a time of giddy, even joyful, group activity: collaborative writing, little magazines and pamphlets, weekly poetry readings, endless parties, rock concerts, dope smoking, wild sex, and political protests. You can look it up. Twenty-eight year later, these little reels of film turned up in a box in my closet. There were some exposure problems (I never really knew what I was doing), but much of the footage was presentable. Julie Harrison cleaned it up and transferred it to videotape, then we set about editing and laying some music for the portraits. Ron Padgett did the commentary for the group scenes in his inimitable, down-home manner.

Larry Fagin, New York City, 1997

Portraits & Home Movies: 1968–1969 by Larry Fagin and Julie Harrison. Produced by Julie Harrison. Edited by Julie Harrison and Larry Fagin. Original footage by Larry Fagin. Music selected by Larry Fagin. Narration by Ron Padgett.