If you like a bit of subversive political disruption with your documentary film viewing, the RPL Film Theatre has a great double-bill for you this weekend.
Theory of Obscurity is the first film in the queue. Its a 2016 doc by Don Hardy that examines the 40-year career of the anonymous sound and video collective called The Residents. Known for their avant garde music and innovative multi-media works, The Residents have released well over 100 albums, music videos and short films during their four decades together.
The second film is directed by Joh Nealon and Jenny Raskin, and is called Here Come The Videofreex. It’s focal point is a counterculture project created on the sly by Don West at CBS in 1969. To provide content, he hired a group of young videographers/journalists who went by the name Videofreex. They subsequently travelled the U.S. interviewing counterculture figures such as Abbie Hoffman and Black Panther member Fred Hampton. Any hope West had of bringing their material to air on CBS was quashed by higher-ups, although Videofreex did go on to set up a pirate TV station in 1972.
Theory of Obscurity screens at the RPL Friday June 10 at 7 p.m., Saturday June 11 at 9 p.m., and Sunday June 12 at 2:30 p.m. Here Come The Videofreex screens on the same days at 9 p.m., 7 p.m. and 7 p.m.
Here’s the trailer for Theory of Obscurity: