Tony Conrad: Completely in the Present | Chicago Reader

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96 minutes · 2016

Documentary
Tony Conrad was a double threat of the 60s avant-garde: as a violinist, he performed in the Theatre of Eternal Music alongside such luminaries as LaMonte Young and John Cale (the latter of whom would carry its droning, minimalist aesthetic into the Velvet Underground); as a filmmaker, he apprenticed with director Jack Smith on the scabrous Flaming Creatures (1964) before making his own mark with the stroboscopic The Flicker (1966) and the conceptual Yellow Movies (1973). As portrayed in this affectionate documentary by Tyler Hubby, Conrad never met an authority figure he didn't want to buck, and his subsequent career—most of which he spent teaching filmmaking at State University of New York-Buffalo—has included such unglamorous but provocative projects as artwork made from the stained underparts of incontinent fat people and a cable-access TV show to which poor kids could phone in for help with their homework. Among the Conrad fans weighing in are Moby and Jim O’Rourke.

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