Film Culture 80. The Legend of Barbara Rubin
This instantly readable black-and-white documentation on the influential New York film artist Barbara Rubin (1945–1980) contains reprints of letters and other historical material offering a unique insight into her private world. It is published as an appended 80th edition of Jonas Mekas’s magazine Film Culture (1954–96), and centres around four sets of letters from Rubin to Mekas from the years 1964–70, with detailed commentaries on each. Also included are individual conversations, press reports, a film script and retrospective interviews with people who knew Rubin. Some of the documents are presented as facsimiles on a grey background; others are transcribed with reference illustrations in varying layouts, depending on the text type; and sometimes a facsimile appears on a double page next to a transcription. On certain occasionally interspersed single pages, film stills are overlaid with documentary photos, while on others representative photos depict Rubin in the company of Bob Dylan, Allen Ginsberg or Andy Warhol. The fascinating story of the young film-maker who, after a brief period in the art scene, converted to Hasidic Judaism is not treated as a museum piece; it is rather kept alive through the skilled use of archival material and redesigns.