Filmed over two decades, this entertaining documentary captures the freewheeling spirit and joyous creativity of iconoclastic multimedia artist Tony Conrad, who died last April. A pioneering minimalist musician, avant-garde filmmaker and conceptual performer, Conrad was a fixture of the downtown scene in 60s New York, where he mingled with the likes of the Velvet Underground, filmmaker Jack Smith and composer La Monte Young.
Conrad made some of the most pulsating and dramatic drone music ever recorded, in collaboration with Young (who proceeded to squirrel away the recordings, much to Conrad’s disgust). He performed the soundtrack for Smith’s underground classic Flaming Creatures and created the trance-like stroboscopic film The Flicker. Moving into teaching, he continued to rail against conventional artistic practice, creating video and conceptual works with Tony Oursler and Mike Kelley. — MM
“An exploration of avant-garde art that has little time for elitism or pretense… [Tyler] Hubby captures an artistic personality that could manifest big ideas without a shred of snobbery, could deflate pomposity while still inviting deep thought.” — John DeFore, Hollywood Reporter
This film contains strobe effects