fbpx Barbara Rubin & the Exploding NY Underground | Gene Siskel Film Center
Film Series: Runs & Limited Engagements

Barbara Rubin & the Exploding NY Underground

2018, Chuck Smith, USA, 79 min.

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Show Times

  • Fri, Jul 26th 3:45pm
  • Fri, Jul 26th 8:30pm
  • Sat, Jul 27th 5:15pm
  • Sun, Jul 28th 5:30pm
  • Mon, Jul 29th 6:00pm
  • Wed, Jul 31st 8:15pm
Chicago premiere! Chuck Smith in person!

"Informative and overdue."—Glenn Kenny, The New York Times

"Accessible and formally daring…an enlightening nonfiction portrait of a feminist pioneer."—Nick Schager, Variety

Critic J. Hoberman called her "the Joan of Arc of underground cinema." Jonas Mekas compared her to Arthur Rimbaud, exploding onto the scene in a burst of visionary brilliance before disappearing into "the sands of some spiritual Africa." Barbara Rubin is best known for her transgressive 1963 masterpiece CHRISTMAS ON EARTH, made when she was 18 years old. Chuck Smith's dynamic and fascinating documentary demonstrates that Rubin was not just a one-film wonder but a central figure in the heady creative ferment of the New York avant-garde scene of the 1960s. Injecting a radical female perspective into a male-dominated domain, she served as an assistant to Mekas at the Anthology Film Archives, became a confidante and advisor to Andy Warhol (whom she connected with both Bob Dylan and the Velvet Underground), and co-founded a poets' commune in upstate New York with Allen Ginsberg, whose baby she dearly wanted to bear. The last act of Rubin's meteoric life was a startling departure, consistent only in its passionate embrace of the unexpected. DCP digital. (MR)

At all screenings, the feature will be followed by Rubin's celebrated film CHRISTMAS ON EARTH (1963, 30 min.), a double-layered extravaganza of painted flesh, polymorphous perversity, and genital celebration. Note: Contains explicit nudity and sexuality. DCP digital courtesy of The Film-Makers' Coop.

Director Chuck Smith is scheduled to appear at the 8:30pm screening on Friday, July 26.

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