BRANDY IN THE WILDERNESS

V'15

BRANDY IN THE WILDERNESS

Stanton Kaye
USA, 1969
Fiction, 69min, OF

© Viennale © Viennale

BRANDY IN THE WILDERNESS

Stanton Kaye
USA, 1969
Fiction, 69min, OF

Cast: 
Stanton Kaye
Simon Weiss
Michaux French
Brandy
Allan McCollum
as himself
Screenplay: 
Michaux French
Stanton Kaye
Camera: 
Stanton Kaye
Editor: 
Stanton Kaye
Susan Pottish
Masako Takahashi

Production: 
Stanton Kaye, Michaux French
Format: 
35 mm
Color and Black/White

Stanton Kaye was one of the brightest lights of the American independent cinema that flourished in the 60’s, fueled by the work of directors like John Cassavetes, Morris Engel and Jim McBride. Released in 1969, Kaye’s second feature, BRANDY IN THE WILDERNESS, is a dazzling film à clef made in partnership with Kaye’s then-girlfriend Michaux French (later a noted film academic and psychoanalyst). Both Kaye and French appear onscreen as barely veiled versions of themselves: his Simon Weiss is an aspiring filmmaker with an acclaimed avant-garde short behind him, now creatively paralyzed by that early success; her Brandy is a neurotic advertising copywriter who asks Simon to direct a film about her life. Brandy was itself instigated by similar means, and as the movie winds its way from New York to LA (with pit stops in Oklahoma, Texas, New Mexico and Nevada along the way), the line between real and reel life becomes ever more tenuous. We see the events twice, once from each character’s p.o.v., complete with dueling voiceover narrations and an inspired grab-bag of montage effects. Now, after many years in the cinematic wilderness, BRANDY has been beautifully restored from the original 16mm negative, and a masterpiece of the American new wave stands to be noted. (Scott Foundas)

In the presence of Stanton Kaye.