Matt Wolf: I Remember – A Film about Joe Brainard
whimsy, and clarity of design grace the work of Joe Brainard (1941–1994), an artist and writer whose evocations of memory
and desire perhaps found their greatest expression in his memoir-poem I Remember. Composed of a
sequence of brief recollections, the poem’s standardized format admits an
incredible variety of images and feelings: "I remember Greyhound buses at
night...I remember candy cigarettes like chalk...I remember leaning up against
walls in queer bars...” Brainard's many drawings, collages, assemblages, and
paintings, as well as his short essays and verbal-visual collaborations, were
celebrated throughout his lifetime and ever since.
Filmmaker Matt Wolf returns to this iconic poem in his film I Remember: A Film About Joe Brainard. His archival montage combines audio recordings of Brainard reading from the poem, as well as an interview with his lifelong friend and collaborator, the poet Ron Padgett. The result is an inventive biography of Joe Brainard, and an elliptical dialog about friendship, nostalgia, and the strange wonders of memory.
A silent screen-style comedy directed by Rudy Burckhardt, 16mm, b/w.
With text by Joe Brainard.
Performances by Edwin Denby, Rudy Burckhardt, Jacob Burckhardt, Red Grooms, Alex Katz, Mimi Gross
This program is
made possible with support from The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts
and with public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs and
the New York State Council on the Arts, a state agency.
Photo: Wren de Antonio