Not sure if we’ve fully sung the praises of Chuck Smith‘s remarkable 2019 documentary, Barbara Rubin & The Exploding NY Underground. We previously wrote of Barbara Rubin – here. Barbara was an essential part of Allen’s life (and other lives too!)
Our focus today – a film-project – “Allen for Allen”, a film that finally didn’t see the light of day but was subsequently incorporated in “Emouna” (“Faith” in Hebrew, and also the name of Barbara’s first child and only daughter). That film was discovered by Chuck at Anthology Film Archives, filed under the name Pamela Mayo (a friend of Barbara’s who was in London with her and Allen in 1965 and was also part of the Living Theater, and later married to Steve Ben Israel)
“Pamela and Barbara (who was Orthodox at that point) taught a film class at CUNY together in 1971, and that’s when Barbara decided to inter-cut her “Allen for Allen” film with holocaust footage as some kind of statement. “Emouna” is the result, and Pamela was credited as the Director for some reason”
Here’s Barbara writing to Jonas Mekas, back in 1965 (with full enthusiasm for the project – “I think it’s a little masterpiece”):
Here’s Barbara writing in despair to Allen (Allen’s just left London):
Here’s Barbara again to Allen (not dispirited, still believing in the film per se –“We have just finished editing “Allen for Allen” It is beautiful”):
“Bob” here is Bob Dylan, “Christmas” is Barbara’s film, “Christmas on Earth” (Barbara is pleased to hear that Jean Genet managed to see the film and was “pleased and interested”
For “Rosebud” – see here. For Tom Maschler – see here
One final note – Barbara’s instructions or hopes about post-production work (which, seemingly never happened)
Well, what we do have is reconstruction of the film (incorporated into Chuck Smith’s film)
-and Smith (of necessity) goes in some depth into the Ginsberg-Rubin relationship (and, like we said, Barbara’s other extraordinary relationships).
Here is the trailer for that film. Go see it.