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Novel

Owen Land

Alun Rowlands

‘Undesirables (Work-In-Progress)’, 1999
16mm original, transferred to vhs video, tansferred to DVD, b/w, sound, 12 mins

‘The idea started with a casual comment made by Stan Brakhage, must have been way back in the early 1970s. It stuck in my mind. Now that I think about it, Brakhage may have meant this as a joke. He said, “Someday Hollywood will probably make a film about us,” ‘us’ meaning the experimental filmmakers “and I wonder which actors will play us?” Think about that first of all: the idea that Hollywood would make a film about experimental filmmakers is totally ridiculous. The fact that one would think about which actor was going to play me at some time in the future, I think that’s very funny. Eventually it germinated in my mind and I thought it was an interesting idea… A film about experimental filmmakers, especially in the very formative period, approximately 1968 to 1972. The movement went from a high point where there was a lot of publicity generated in the media, and seemed to peter out shortly after that. At a certain time, I guess it was in the 1980s, there was some discussion in film circles about the decline of the experimental film and people were theorising about why it happened and some people suggested maybe because of video, and I guess there were other theories too. So I thought, “Why not come up with a fantastic theory about why that happened?” a fictional theory and put that into a film?’
(Owen Land, interviewed by Mark Webber, 2004)