It’s been an active month for the Videofreex. Building on a successful debut in North Carolina, “Here Come the Videofreex” made the rounds in New York last week. In between showings in Brooklyn and Rosendale, the Brooklyn Museum hosted the screening and discussion Videofreex and Feminism: “Bumps on a Level Playing Field”.
I attended the Rosendale Theatre screening, seeing the final cut of the film for the first time. I couldn’t have been more proud of what this energetic band accomplished, or of filmmakers Jon Nealon and Jenny Raskin, who spent a decade on the movie. Naturally, we received the royal treatment.
Jon conjured the back story of the historic setting.
“As the film played,” he wrote in an email, “I tried to imagine all the scratchy prints that had been projected onto that screen over the decades and the theatre filled with families and kids and popcorn and first dates for this small community in a time before TV, cable TV, and the internet… And it was great to be able to play the film for your old friends and people who were a part of the scene in Lanesville.”
Just experiencing the finished documentary in that setting would have been a great experience. To top it off, I had a chance to step up to the stage to join the post-screening panel.
Bart Friedman said that those rows of seats were “packed with old friends and smiling faces as well as with strangers” whose questions let him “expound on the delights of having been a TV cowboy.”
I can’t help but bookend that with the panel I joined a few years ago, at another showing of Videofreex work in Brooklyn. I know slightly more now, we have a museum exhibit and a website and — of course — this movie.
One big omission in Rosendale: Skip Blumberg, a major force behind all that has transpired in those intervening years. He couldn’t be there that day, but received a round of applause in absentia.
In addition to recalling the Buckaroo Bart days of Lanesville TV, the panel fielded questions about the history and impact of the Videofreex and the changing media landscape.
The Dorsky Museum supported the event, and the exhibit Videofreex: The Art of Guerrilla Television came up several times. Only two weeks left to see it!