Allan 'n' Allen's Complaint

Nam June Paik and Shigeko Kubota
1982, 28:33 min, color, sound

In Allan 'n' Allen's Complaint, the influence of Jewish fathers on their sons and the complexity of familial relationships are explored in a witty, poignant portrait of two artists. Beat poet Allen Ginsberg (whose father Louis was a poet in his own right) and performance artist/sculptor Allan Kaprow (whose father is a high-powered lawyer) are the sons who struggle with and against the influences of these patriarchal figures. Paik and Shigeko Kubota take the viewer on a journey from the Mideast (where Kaprow performs his Stone Happening and makes an ice sculpture in the desert), to a New York poetry reading with Ginsberg and his father, to Boulder, Colorado, where Ginsberg's companion Peter Orlovsky plays his banjo. Throughout, the artists subject their content to irreverent temporal, spatial and visual transformations: images multiply and proliferate, time is accelerated or slowed, audio is de-synchronized. In this playful, often moving portrait of fathers and sons, the artists use video effects to allow Kaprow to walk on water, and orchestrate a posthumous confrontation between Ginsberg and the image of his father.

Host: Pierre Restany. Guests: Peter Orlovsky, Catherine Ikam. Camera: Bill Marpet, Esti Gallili Marpet, Uri Bar-Zemer, Herb Squire, Kit Fitzgerald, Dimitri Devyatkin, Deborah Van Moser, Karen Edwards, Jud Yalkut. Editors: John J. Godfrey, Ruth Bonomo-Godfrey, Paul Dogherty, Pat Ivers, John Castedo.


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