At the Filmmaker's Coop a week ago the fearless indefatigable M.M. Serra
along with perspicacious resident scholar Greg Zinman
presented (for a tiny group of cognoscenti) the astounding part 2 of a Jud Yalkut Memorial Screening. Like a lightning bolt out of the darkness they projected a pristine print of one of the least seen most amazing masterpieces of counterculture cinema, the fabled AQUARIAN RUSHES (1970), Yalkut's scintillating hybrid distillation of the 1969 Woodstock Music & Art Fair. Said to be a favorite of Martin Scorsese, believe it !! AQUARIAN RUSHES is the object of a prolonged endeavor, a grail, wondrous but not explicitly "holy",
a hybrid of film,video and digital manipulation with psychedelic schisms
and otherworldly tactilities, as ecstatic as it is intimate.
Yalkut is here a witness wrapped in wonder, an avant-garde filmmaker at the height of his powers of observation, with a fascination for backstage minutiae as well as legendary performances
in never before seen oblique angles.

As if that wasn't enough, the master of sensory overload, legendary
85 year old multichannel poet Gerd Stern, founder of USCO the Intermedia commune in upstate New York,
wandered in with unforgettable stories to tell...

meeting Harry Smith eating casaba melons
at Jimbo's Bop City in the late 40's.
By flashlight, sworn to silence, seeing Harry's art work placed on the floor of his flophouse in San Francisco's Fillmore district before anyone knew
he was a filmmaker.

Quoting Charlotte Moorman at one of the first Expanded Cinema Festivals
in the early Sixties:
"When you're playing the cello
with flowers you have to listen closely".

What he did not tell was that he was Maya Angelou's lover,
that he had been hospitalized with BOTH Carl Solomon AND Allen Ginsberg,
that he worked closely with Harry Partch,
that he was the producer of Timothy Leary''s "Psychedelic Theater".
Nor did he say he had known Jordan Belson, Philip Lamantia,
Michael McClure, Harold Edgerton, Dennis Hopper,
Ken Kesey, Bob Dylan, Stewart Brand, Charlie Parker, Lenny Bruce,
Marshall McLuhan or Huey Newton, but indeed he has.

He also failed to mention that he had a bathtub rigged as a waterpipe
on his barge in Sausalito, which he got Count Basie high with.

M.M. says he's coming back in a couple of months.
Do not dare miss Gerd Stern's return.
He is one of the greatest raconteur's living on this planet.

Just saying,

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