Why do I make films? More honest question: why do we make films? I cannot do this alone; there are always others, a team. It starts with a dream, a vision, and the adventure of its articulation. I want to find new ways of seeing and creating new contexts for what I see.
Since 1993, I have interpreted my life experiences through a series of feature-length art films exploring the interplay between the imaginal and the actual. Films made between 1995 and 2015 were sold as DVDs and screened publicly at cinemas on my annual pacific coast tour circuit. Though I never made any profit from my movies nor have I aimed for fame, they have somehow garnered favorable reviews from film critics. I make my movies under oath of zero compromise; I am completely self-taught.
Over the last decade, DVDs have become all but obsolete though I dream of their resurgence as folks desire escape from boring formualic stories with more flash than substance. Several years ago, I felt done with touring my roadshow and decided to post links to all my films as free views on YouTube and Vimeo. Approaching seventy, I reached a point of simply wanting to gift the world and share the bounty with anyone finding resonance with my visions. Though my films are obviously not for everybody, they seem to have found their own eccentric audience.
HOW IT BEGAN. My films don't fit into any existing cinematic genre. Most of my movies are veiled autobiographies, oneric docufictions, giving narrative and poetic form to my internal landscape. This process started after the sudden tragic death of my second daughter Zoe in September of 1992. The worst thing that could ever happen to me, happened to me. Great losses sometimes come with gifts and, this unfathomable loss hammered me with the gift of vision; the eyes of my eyes opened. I saw "death" as an illusion, an intellectual symbol for fear, social control, and oppression. I saw through the lies of society. I saw the eternal cycles of Life; people come and go but Life continues. I've seen true Love upstage Death in the Theatre of Life. However I also became overwhelmed by more perceptions of reality than I knew what to do with. That's when I bought my first consumer camcorder.
Waves of grief and epiphany guided the scripting and production of my first feature, THE ORACLE (1993), about a cynical elder patriarch whose granddaughter, Ariadne, appears in his dreams as a guide on his final night on earth. My own cynicism withered after being inspired by my friend Rob Brezsny's concept of "the drivetime", an interface between dreamtime and daytime realities. Together, we wrote and produced THE DRIVETIME (1995), about a federal time-travelling librarian from the year 2023 returning to 1999 via the dreams of a Seattle video activist shooting police riots. Five years later, I was moved to explore conflicting religious beliefs in TRAGOS (2000), a cyber-noir witch hunt tale about a fundamentalist Christian attourney mistakenly convinced that a blind pagan woman is the leader of a 'satanic suicide cult'.
The racial profiling immediately following the 9/11 attacks outraged the making of HYSTERIA (2002), written with Jakob Bokulich, about a Croatian Catholic soldier who drinks datura tea and mistakes a powerful hallucination for a visitation from the Holy Virgin Mary with catastrophic consequences. On my fiftieth birthday, I felt compelled to explore my Finnish roots in UNDER A SHIPWRECKED MOON (2003), where a Finnish-American family visits their hospitalized, comatose patriarch whose true love beckons him from the great beyond. Highly creative women standing at the existential crossroads between Art or Motherhood inspired the making of THE GREATER CIRCULATION (2005) where the poet Rainer Maria Rilke transforms his grief over the sudden death of his friend, the artist Paula Modersohn-Becker, into his epic prose lament, "Requiem for a Friend". Meanwhile, three women and two men stage an avante garde performance of Rilke's prose in present time, Berkeley California.
Fear-mongering politics triggered the making of my anxious Christmas comedy, THE MIND IS A LIAR AND A WHORE (2007), about a quirky Berkeley household climbing the slippery slopes between actual and perceived threats during an alleged bioterrorist attack in their city. I returned to my earliest theatrical influence, Antonin Artaud, for THE INVISIBLE FOREST (2008) about an insomniac theatre director (whom I portray) conducting a group paratheatrical experiment in a forest when a series of disturbing dreams forces him to question his sanity. My next film explored the suspicious circumstances surrounding the deathbed signing of proprietal documents between a former mentor, Christopher S. Hyatt and his son in TO DREAM OF FALLING UPWARDS (2011), a zany occult saga about an urban sex magickian who seeks help from a Castaneda-style desert witch to solve a vexing esoteric problem of spirit possession.
My need to work through unresolved Anima projections led to the making of FLAMINGOS (2012), an outlaw romance noir about twin sisters in love with a bank-robbing hypnotist junkie. My feminist fable THE BOOK OF JANE (2013) developed from a vision of three generations of women and the overlapping worlds of the nomadic homeless, ivory tower academia, and pre-Hellenic goddess worship.
My ongoing dialogue with the autonomous Muses archetype inspired OUT OF THE WOODS (2015, recut in 2021) as an uncommon love story about a boy with an imaginary friend who accompanies him through manhood and into old age.
After a five year hiatus from filmmaking, the Cinema Muses called me back to work in THE VANISHING FIELD (2020) - inspired by the ongoing impact of a spontaneous out of body experience I survived in my early twenties. Filmed mostly in a Zen monastery with Zen monks, The Vanishing Field is my most improvised film. My feature, THE ALCHEMY OF SULPHUR, (2021), was born from my ongoing journey of transforming my traumas through creative writing. In this psychological romance, a writer attempts to escape heartbreak by writing herself into a story as a romantic character with unexpected real world repercussions. My forthcoming feature, TRACER (Autumn 2022), is a cat and mouse yarn unravelling through a maze of underworld
Russian remote viewing experiments, and a fractured family trying
to pick up the pieces.
TRACER is also my final film as I withdraw from the public sphere to pursue more private interests.
PARATHEATRE. In 1977, I was deeply inspired by the late Polish theatre director Jerzy Grotowski's paratheatrical experiments in the forests of Poland and by his book, Towards a Poor Theater. From that point on, I began to develop my own "paratheatre" medium which I've documented in two books, "Towards an Archeology of the Soul" (2003) and "State of Emergence" (2020) and in numerous videos demonstrating various modalities of this dynamic group ritual process. Many themes and characters of my films have been inspired my personal Paratheatre experiences, especially between 2010 and 2019 when we courted the archetype of the Muses. In late 2015, after nineteen prolific years of music and film production in Berkeley, Sylvi and I relocated to Portland Oregon and staged five original paratheatrical productions (documented on video) and recorded a series of original songs that were made into music videos as "bird&wolf".
Since 1992, I have been crafting numerous short "videopoems" using text by Blake, Rilke, Neruda, H.D., Rimbaud, Plath, & others, as well as, many short experimental works and music videos. Almost all my work was made in collaboration with many others. I am especially grateful for support from and inspiration with the multi-talented Sylvi Alli (since 1995) and my features editor, Chris Odell (from 2000-2015).
So far, all my movies have been self-funded and/or co-produced with peers; I have avoided applying for grants. Each of my features take anywhere from four to twelve months, from concept to final cut. When some folks discover my films they often ask, “which one should I start with?”, and I say, “read the descriptions, look at the images, and choose one that speaks to you.” I only ask that you don't watch my movies on the fucking phone. I am grateful to discover any responses to my films. If you are so moved, send them to me at: email@example.com
Films Online, DVD Distribution, Filmography, I.M.Db
On YouTube and Vimeo - Free views
The Original Falcon Press
completed works since 1991
- VENUE HISTORY -
where these films have screened
NORTHWEST FILM FORUM (Seattle), UC IRVINE (Irvine CA), PACIFIC FILM ARCHIVE (Berkeley), MILLS COLLEGE CONCERT HALL (Oakland), FINE ARTS CINEMA (Berkeley), RED VIC MOVIEHOUSE (S.F.), PICKFORD CINEMA (Bellingham WA), DIVA CENTER (Eugene OR), CELLspace (S.F.), A.T.A. GALLERY (S.F.), PARKWAY SPEAKEASY THEATRE (Oakland), HOLLYWOOD THEATRE, (Portland), CLINTON ST. THEATER (Portland), GUILD (NW Film Center, Portland), 911 MEDIA ARTS (Seattle), CREST THEATRE (Sacramento), RED POPPY ART HOUSE (S.F.), BERKELEY ART CENTER (Berkeley), ROSE THEATRE (Port Townsend WA), ABUNDANT SUGAR (Los Angeles), 21 GRAND (Oakland), OAKLAND BLACK BOX (Oakland), DANZHAUS (S.F.), THE JAZZHOUSE (Berkeley), LIVE OAK THEATRE (Berkeley), LA PENA (Berkeley), ARTSHIP (Port of Oakland), MAGIC THEATRE (Nevada City), I-GONG (Seoul, S. Korea), FINNISH BROTHERHOOD HALL (Berkeley), MIDNIGHT SPECIAL (Santa Monica), VELVET ELVIS ARTS THEATRE (Seattle), COLOURBOX (Seattle), JUPITER CAFE and BLAKE'S (Berkeley), WEATHERED WALL (Seattle), GRACE NORTH CHURCH (Berkeley), ILLUSEUM (Amsterdam, Netherlands), THE HUMANIST HALL (Oakland), ANNO DOMINI GALLERY (San Jose), SUBTERRANEAN ARTHOUSE (Berkeley), THE LOST CHURCH (San Francisco), CLOUD 9 (Berkeley), BERKELEY ARTS FESTIVAL (Berkeley), THE DREAM INSTITUTE (Berkeley), EAST BAY MEDIA CENTER (Berkeley), UNIVERSITY BOOK STORE (Berkeley), SANTA CRUZ INSTITUTE OF CONTEMPORARY ART (Santa Cruz), PERFORMANCE WORKS NORTHWEST (Portland OR), HEADWATERS THEATRE (Portland OR), PERFORMANCEWORKS NW (Portland), BOLINAS COMMUNITY CENTER (Bolinas)