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zz2Film/Video

Subway

1968  |  16mm  |  color  |  sound  |  5 min
Holly Fisher
Filmed with 2nd hand Bolex, Fisher's 1st film camera
Holly Fisher
Holly Fisher
Holly Fisher
Benjamin Melnick (Rinzler)

Subway is my first completed solo film. Five years earlier I directed and filmed what would have been my first film – in B&W at original McDonald’s (proud to  have sold their first million hamburgers at that time) and also including footage directed and performed by myself and filmed by Romas V. Slezas on rocky coastline, Scituate, MA. This film project was never edited, and still lives in bits & shards in a small film can somewhere in my archives.

Group show, Institute of Contemporary Art, Boston, MA (1972)



Subway is a subterranean passage that lies somewhere between fiction and diary, with literal and psychological overtones from the late ‘60s. Framed within a ride on the Harvard/Ashmont Subway Line at rush hour – as the train fills and then empties, moving further from downtown Boston while I direct my seven-year-old nephew, Ben, to stand and look around, sit, get off, watch himself depart, get back on, and walk away – intercut with various scenes from my on-going (Bolex) film diary; seagulls circling, anti-war street demonstration past Playboy Club in downtown Boston, large dogs leaping into saltwater, crowd on escalator, Ben’s image in surveillance camera, twilight through half-built, backlit Coop City under construction…

The impulse for multiple layering, juxtaposition and other interplay of disparate imagery seemed to come naturally, even after having spent some years co-making documentary films. At the same time this film comes closer to a narrative structure than anything I’ve made before or since, with the exception of PSSSHT!