Saturday, June 02, 2007

Bill Daniel brings films/photos/spectacle to 1919 tonight!!


Tonight, at 1919 Hemphill, in Fort Worth!
$5 - but never let money keep you away from a 1919 Hemphill event.

Punk rock photos by Bill Daniel and Kat Shimamoto * experimental films * visual art * music by Cadillac Fraf

I met Bill Daniel, back in 1985-86, when I moved to Austin for the second time. I was already friends with that whole Austin underground film scene that eventually spawned the Austin Film Society. Rick Linklater, Lee Daniel--I used to hang out at a house in Hyde Park across the street from where Lee and Rick lived. Rick was a film obsessive, who lived in tight blue jean cut-offs and t-shirts and seemed to eat only canned food. He saved his money for films at the Union on UT's campus. I had a huge crush on Lee, who seemed to have a huge crush on super-8 films, public swimming pools, local punk rock, and conjunto music.

Around the time that Rick and Lee decided to start an underground monthly film series at the Dobie Theater, for which I was a regular attendee from the beginning (sometimes i'd pay with a smile and a freshly-picked wildflower), Bill Daniel showed up. He was gregarious and informative, and I remember he had a 35mm (no such thing as digital cameras back then) slung around his neck every time I saw him, and he and I seemed to be digging on the same literature (JG Ballard, Philip K. Dick, for instance). A bunch of us seemed to be onto that whole '100th Monkey' thing as our habits and fascinations segued quite magically.

Later, in the 1990s, when I was living in Austin again, I had chance to run into Bill now and again. He frequented the Alternate Current arts space, run by David and Susan (wonder how they're doing...), both as an exhibitor and friend, and he always had a good word/hello for me. Bill was also running the Funhouse Cinema, with film screenings downtown, featuring the latest cinematic works of the independents.

I always trust that the people I'm meant to know/work with/follow will always show up in my path. It happens again and again. So it came as no great surprise when I was an artist-in-residence at Headlands Center for the Arts for the month of March 2003, that I found out that Bill Daniel had also been an artist-in-residence there. I was shown photos of an installation that Bill created--in collaboration with the late great Margaret Kilgallen--which featured his hobo culture-themed films and images. It excited me to know that Bill and I were still on similar paths, if on different timetables.

Now, if only I could get one of them coveted Creative Capital grants like Bill has been awarded. (Actually, I got close once, making it to the pool of finalists back in 2004.)

His new project is titled "Sunset Scavenger," but I'm not sure if that's what he's bringing to us tonight at 1919 Hemphill. He potentially might present another recently-completed short, a kind of follow-up and response to that jarring & unforgettable 13-minute 16mm film that fucked me up one night back in 1985 or '86 when I saw it at the Dobie: "Selective Service System". A young California student, called up for selective service, basically shoots himself in the foot, and it's all on film. Mind-numbing, sad, disturbing. I remember walking home at two in the morning with my friend Clarke, all shocked and choked up, freezing up when we heard emergency response sirens in the distance. I can understand why Bill would've wanted to speak to the men who made this film.

So, to wrap this up, I want folks to know that Bill Daniel is one of Texas' (native Texan) most consistent and prolific outsider underground artists who is getting acclaim and funding for doing just what he originally set out to do. Show up and meet him tonight @ 1919 Hemphill; he's alot more than the "hobo films" that he's touted for producing.

Links to:

a pretty recent interview;

some descriptive text and photos on "Who is Bozo Texino?";

the site for Bill's book of punk rock photos; and

yep, his personal website.

1 comment:

Scott Kohlhaas said...


This was a very interesting article!

Would you be willing to spread the word about It's a site dedicated to shattering the myths surrounding the selective slavery system and building mass civil disobedience to stop the draft before it starts.

Our banner on a website, printing and posting the anti-draft flyer or just telling friends would help.


Scott Kohlhaas

PS. When it comes to conscription, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure!