New York: np, 1963-1983. Nine discreet items. Xerox, offset, and mimeograph. 8 x 10 in. - 8 1/2 x 14 in. Very good to near fine. Item #5884
A collection of draft scripts, notes, synopses, projection instructions and other ephemera for two unrealized films by Barbara Rubin, one of the New York underground’s most mythic figures.
This small collection gathers ten items of production materials, with holograph notation, from the two unrealized sequels to Rubin’s groundbreaking Christmas on Earth, including one in which Jean Genet would have played a Bowery Bum rescued by fairies.
At the age of 17, Barbara Rubin burst into the New York underground scene with the release of her first film, Christmas on Earth. Filmed in the apartment of Velvet Underground musician John Cale and video artist Tony Conrad, Christmas on Earth was one of the first films to frankly and honestly depict sexual intercourse and the human body, cementing the work as an icon of underground, avant-garde, and transgressive cinema.
During the next few years she was an active participant in the New York underground art scene, where popular myth holds that she introduced Allen Ginsberg to Bob Dylan, and Andy Warhol to the Velvet Underground, at whose Exploding Plastic Inevitable Performances she both participated and projected her film. By the age of 27, she had largely left the underground scene. Rubin joined a Hasidic sect in the early 1970s, and retreated from the underground, instructing Mekas to destroy her film. Thankfully he did not, and later Rubin gave her blessing to allow Christmas On Earth to be shown again. After moving away from filmmaking, Rubin married and moved to France, where she tragically died at the age of 35 after giving birth to her sixth child.
This collection comprises ten distinct items related to Rubin’s filmmaking and practice. Highlighting the collection are
draft scripts, notes, and synopses for the unrealized films Christmas on Earth Continued and Trip Along with Christmas on Earth Continued Again Continuing Remains, in which Jean Genet, playing himself as a Bowery Bum, is rescued by fairies. In addition to these materials towards unrealized films, the collection contains projection instructions, a press release for a festival that will “topple the current concept of theatre and movie house,” a Xerox of a letter from Rubin to Mekas, and other ephemera.
A remarkable gathering of materials for films that could have been, from this important and influential young woman filmmaker. Item-level inventory available upon request.