I watched a couple of Henry Hills shorts in 2011 and loved them to death, have seen them a few more times since. Checked out his DVD last year, which was less exciting, but I’ve gone back to it now and found some great stuff.
Bali Mécanique (1992)
Bali music and dance intercut with other festival scenes, daily life and architecture. The central performance is great – I love that eye movements are part of the dance – and editing is on point. Think this is my favorite of his non-New York films.
Rhythmic rattle and clank, as streetcar rails slide past ancient building, interrupted by a dystopian white tower broadcasting numbers stations. Shot in Prague.
Kino Da! (1980)
Poet/activist Jack Hirschman sits reading in the grass, Hills creating new poetry by editing the hell out of his words.
Little Lieutenant (1994)
Dance and movement, mostly before greenscreen or projected sets, edited to a wackadoo music montage (Zorn, of course). Clips of war footage towards the end. This is one of the good ones, codirected with dancer/choreographer Sally Silvers.
Porter Springs 4 (1999)
Whew, more playful and less rigidly structuralist than the previous Porter Springs. More scenes from the country house on the lake, this time injecting sound clips, songs (I recognized “Cigareets, Whusky and Wild Wild Women”), photographs, home movies, single-frame montages, exposure tricks, silent scenes of shadow and water (callback to the first film?), a whole segment focused on the filmmaker’s feet
Failed States (2008)
1. Amusement park lights and motion, silently contrasting an upsetting-looking spinning and twirling ride at daytime vs. night.
2. Adding a ticking clock, and someone reciting letters and syllables, the rides edited against twiring camera on city streets and people spinning on their own feet.
Finally the sound drops away and the camera keeps endlessly spinning.
3. Spinning and twirling at an India street festival and the carnival rides, each with its own music.