Dear Jimmy. 1978. USA. Directed by Harald Vogl. Cinematography by Vogl and Seth Tillet. With Anya Phillips, Peter Wiese, James Chance, David McDermott, Becky Johnston, Eric Mitchell, Patti Astor, Pat Place, Laura Kennedy, Kathy Acker, Duncan Smith, Trixie Salke, James Nares. Digital video from Super8mm. 63 min.
First shown in the Classics of the New Cinema series organized by FUN Gallery’s Patti Astor at Club 57 in 1981, Dear Jimmy is the No Wave classic no one has seen. The first of several Super8mm features Austrian filmmaker Harald V. Uccello made in New York under the name Harald Vogl, the film documents the post-punk scene while self-consciously interpreting it. The loose narrative is centered on a European filmmaker developing a film project. His companions include Anya Phillips, as the film’s leading lady who refuses to be an Anna Karina type in yet “another Godard remake,” and Eric Mitchell, as an actor who, between scenes, formulates a manifesto of the no-budget filmmaking in which he and Vogl both flourished. Interviews conducted by Seth Tillett for the film-within-the-film bring Kathy Acker, Tina L’Hotsky, James Chance, Pat Place, and Laura Kennedy to life at the height of their scene-wide influence, while a secondary love story culminates in a finale in which James Nares recites romantic poetry against the backdrop of dilapidated tenement buildings. Preserved by The Museum of Modern Art, New York.