Rare “(at) home footage” of Allen, and , with his brother, Julius, and momentary glimpses of Neal Cassady (that’s him in the striped shirt), and who’s the woman? – we’re really not sure. Of the location, however, we can be sure. It’s 1965 San Francisco, Allen’s apartment, at 1360 Fell Street, near the panhandle district, east of Golden Gate Park.
The source of the footage? Richard O Moore’s groundbreaking WNET Ginsberg-Ferlinghetti program (USA Poetry). The soundtrack (both Allen’s comments and the reading from “Kral Majales”) is from that, from what we’ve elsewhere referred to as the City Lights footage (Allen reading and in discussion in City Lights bookstore).
He begins with the heart sutra (gate gate paragate parasamgate, bodhi, svaha), finger cymbals, in synch, as the camera pans over the “pad” (domestic interior). A laughing Buddha, a figurine of Ganesh. Who is the portrait of on the wall, framed by a tambourine?, an Indian saint? a holy man? – anyone have any ideas? – Peter’s locks against his naked back almost fetishistically observed – the notice pinned upon the door (by Allen? by Peter? for Julius?) – “Yes, I am somewhere in this room” – heartbreaking glimpses (“moments in eternity”) – Julius obliges – Allen gets Julius to zip up his fly! – Peter (wool cap) bare torso, putting on his shirt, gathering his hair, tucking it back, brushing long hair in the mirror – Allen and Neal “getting ready” (with cigarettes dangling in their mouths!).
Finally, outdoors and onto the streets of San Francisco – Peter carrying a guitar – Allen carrying a shoulder bag – Julius (“who came out of a bug-house, who was living in a bug-house for 11 years”) carrying an over-sized suitcase, faithfully trailing behind.
2017 update – For Richard O Moore’s Ginsberg footage – see here