Henry Hills

Experimental Filmmaker

Henry Hills

A New Life

Charles BernsteinHenry HillsJohn ZornLee KatzRoberto JuarezTom Cora

Edited spring 1999 on DV from video-8 footage shot 1989.

In 1988, under the inspiration of George Kuchar, I bought an 8mm camcorder. Rafik’s single-system Frezzolini, on which I had shot Plagiarism/Radio Adios/Money, had died, and I thought this would allow me to pursue synch ideas. Unfortunately video editing at this time involved bumping the footage up to 3/4” and paying $12.50/hour to work on 2 decks with a controller; it was cheaper to shoot 16mm and get a workprint.

The abandoned project was to create artist couples and have them discuss relationship issues and love. Particpating artists include Joe Gibbons, Lee Katz, Emily Breer, Robert Hilferty, Eve Heller, and Roberto Juarez. Alongside this footage was an ongoing discussion with Charles Bernstein on the implications of video as opposed to film. Plus, one cold morning when nothing was working out, I addressed the camera directly in a (what seemed at the time desparate and harrowing but now seems Woody-Allen-ish) scene that is central to the final edit. The footage sat on my shelf haunting me for a decade and I decided to use it to free myself from the past while at the same time learning to use EditDV software. As my major appearance in my own work, it’s perhaps endearing.

Punctuated with 3/4” footage recording the December 1985 “live reenactment” of Money at Roulette with John Zorn on birdcalls and alto, Cyro Baptista on Brazilian percussion, the late Tom Cora on cello, Charles Noyes and Ikue Mori on drums, Jim Staley on trumbone, Butch Morris on cornet, Christian Marclay on turntables, and Alan Davies and Diane Ward on vocals with movement by Pooh Kaye and Sally Silvers, conducted by H.H.).


Charles Bernstein
Henry Hills
John Zorn
Lee Katz
Roberto Juarez
Tom Cora