Wheeler Winston Dixon, the prolific author of books on François Truffaut, Jean-Luc Godard, American experimental cinema, and film theory, has also been making experimental films of his own for the past three decades. This three-program retrospective traces Dixon’s career from the late 1960s to the mid-1990s, with rare screenings of early works like The DC Five Memorial Film (1969), which interweaves home movies of Dixon’s 1950s Connecticut childhood with footage shot in 1969 in New York City and at a farm upstate; Quick Constant and Solid Instant (1969), featuring a Fluxus group-performance piece and a poetry reading by Gerard Malanga; and Madagascar, or, Caroline Kennedy’s Sinful Life in London (1976), in which a fictional Caroline recovers from a hangover. Also shown are Serial Metaphysics (1984–86), an examination of the American lifestyle recut entirely from existing television advertisements, and What Can I Do? (1993), a rigorous, tender portrait of an elderly woman who holds dinner-party guests in thrall to her difficult family life. Dixon, who will introduce all three programs, is generously donating the originals of these films to MoMA.
Organized by Joshua Siegel, Assistant Curator, Department of Film and Media.