Film: Gregory Markopoulos’s Galaxie at Light Industry


Light Industry is at it again. They will be screening Galaxie, a film I have never seen by Gregory Markopoulos. Markopoulos was one the founding members of the New American Cinema Group, a band of filmmakers who wrote a manifesto, declaring the official cinema of the time to be “out of breath”1, and started one of the longest running distributors of independent and experimental film, The Film-makers Cooperative.

About the film:

In 1966, Gregory Markopoulos filmed portraits of notable figures in the New York art world, including painters, poets, critics, filmmakers, and choreographers. Markopoulos populated his Galaxie with a remarkable constellation of personalities, ranging from those in his immediate circle of filmmakers (Jonas Mekas, Storm de Hirsch, the Kuchar Brothers) to luminaries from other art forms (Jasper Johns, W.H. Auden, Allen Ginsberg). Each is shot with a single roll of 16mm film and, though edited entirely in-camera in the moment of filming, comprises many layers of dense superimpositions that build a complex portrait of the sitter. The subjects were invited to pose in their home or studio, together with personal objects of their choice: Parker Tyler is a seen with a drawing by Tchelitchew, Susan Sontag with photographs of Garbo and Dietrich, Shirley Clarke and Maurice Sendak both with children’s toys, Gregory Battcock with a Christmas card and zebra rug. The film is silent except for the sound of a ritual bell, its number of rings increasing incrementally until 30 chimes accompany the final portrait.

As I don’t have a class on Tuesday evenings, I certainly plan on attending.


  • September 16, 2014
  • 7:30 PM
  • 155 Freeman Street, Brooklyn
  • 7.00

  1. I wonder if this statement was influenced by the seminal French New Wave film, Á bout de souffle, which translates to “out of breath” or Breathless

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