Poetic Memory: Brent Green (List)

Sundance-honored multimedia artist Brent Green will bring his film Gravity Was Everywhere Back Then to San Diego’s Museum of Photographic Arts this Sunday.

Green is a self-taught animator whose unusual tales explore the nuances of life, death, and everything in between — even Santa Claus. Gravity is his latest work, and it’s based on the true story of Leonard Wood, a man who built an entire “healing house” for his cancer-stricken wife. For the film, the ever-creative Green constructed a full-scale town in his back yard: “five houses, a handmade working piano, a huge glowing moon, and a giant, wooden, fully functioning God.”

And just as Gravity isn’t your typical film, Sunday night won’t be your typical screening. As an added bonus, Green has put together an all-star band — including Brendan Canty (Fugazi) and Howe Gelb — to play a live soundtrack to the film. Having seen Green perform on multiple occasions, I can say with certainty that the show will be like nothing you’ve ever experienced.

In anticipation of the performance, Green also told us a bit about his influences.

1. Kurt Vonnegut, Jr: Vonnegut was the greatest. I didn’t send him my films ever, thinking that if Vonnegut laughed at my films, it would cripple me.

2. Vic Chesnutt: That dude made some perfect records. A few of them. A bunch of them. Skitter on Take Off is maybe the best parting album of all time.

3. Bob Dylan

4. William Faulkner

5. Thomas Edison: I made everyone working with me read an Edison biography. Everyone hated me for a couple weeks there. Some were better than others.

6. Abraham Lincoln: I’ve never thought there could be too many Lincoln books. Hundreds a year. I still buy magazines just because his face is on the cover. I am part of a demographic. A proud part. This is a great one: James L. Swanson’s Manhunt: The 12 Day Chase for Lincoln’s Killers.

7. Narcîs Monturiol: He invented the first truly functioning submarine. Matthew Stewart’s Monturiol’s Dream is one of those books — I read it a few years ago and I still can’t stop thinking about it.

8. Chris Adrian: Gob’s Grief floored me. The Children’s Hospital disoriented me. I felt lost in my own house for days. Someone should ruin these books by turning them into disastrous movies. Chris Adrian should be rich.

9. Tom Waits

10. Drew & the Medicinal Pen: I’ve been wondering when these guys will get famous. Please go and listen to “Me + Sarahbellum” (MP3).

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.