For decades based in Boston, where he has taught generations of artists at the publicly-funded Massachusetts College of Art and organized the stalwart screening venue MassArt Film Society, Saul Levine has built up a substantial body of work since the 1960s, providing the most important link between the New Left and the New American Cinema. These two worlds, of on-the-ground struggle and visual experiment, collide with explosive possibility in Levine’s filmmaking, which not only documents key political episodes of his time, but also plumbs the emotional depths of a life led in continued resistance to the standing social order, charting its pleasures and its perils.
Begun when Levine was the editor of New Left Notes, the national newsletter of Students for a Democratic Society (SDS), New Left Note is an intricately braided silent montage of images from the era: anti-war protests, women’s liberation marches, and the 1970 “Free Bobby Seale” demonstrations in New Haven, Levine’s hometown. Writing of his work, the filmmaker Marjorie Keller remarked that New Left Note “represents a synthesis of ideas that Levine sought to inject into a much-divided movement.” In moments captured through stuttering frames, sometimes pointedly out of focus, the image impeded by dust and visible tape-spices, the film manifests a powerful vision of alternative media—messy, chaotic, fractured, vital—in contradistinction to the centralized power of the State and corporate broadcasting, repeatedly signaled by the blurry visage of Nixon speaking on television.
This screening took place at NYC's LIGHT INDUSTRY, located in Brooklyn NYC.
Saul Levine interviewed by journalist / writer Ed Halter.
Documented by Joey Huertas aka Jane Public.