Peggy and Fred in Hell: The Complete Cycle | Chicago Reader

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Leslie Thornton's remarkable, mind-boggling experimental feature-length cycle of short films, worked on and released in episodes over a period of years—a postapocalyptic narrative about two children feeling their way through the refuse of late-20th-century consumer culture; the films employ a wide array of found footage as well as peculiar, unpredictable, and often funny performances from two “found” actors. Apart from one startling and beautiful color shot in the penultimate episode, Whirling, the whole cycle is in black and white. Highly idiosyncratic and deeply creepy, this series as a whole—which includes passages in both film and video, sometimes shown concurrently—represents the most exciting work of the 80s American avant-garde that I know, a saga that raises questions about everything while making everything seem very strange. Don't miss this.

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