7 Short Films by Sam Green
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7 Short Films by Sam Green

A man with glasses wears a rainbow colored afro wig while sitting in a shair and talking to someone unseen.
Sam Green, The Rainbow Man, 1997. Image courtesy the artist

Collecting and composing countercultural moments, Sam Green’s short documentaries serve as personal essays on uncanny outliers of pop culture and underground histories, including a man appearing at TV sporting events wearing a rainbow wig, a legendary pie fight at the San Francisco Film Festival, the death of a young man at the 1969 Altamont concert, and an incredible pet cemetery. The screening complements Green’s live cinematic performance of 32 Sounds made in collaboration with electronic musician JD Samson. 1997–2018, digital, 83 min.

The program was part of a retrospective organized by the Wexner Center for the Arts.

Rainbow Man / John 3:16
Green tells the story of the rise and fall of The Rainbow Man, a media-obsessed self-made celebrity in a rainbow wig, omnipresent at all televised sporting events in the 1970s and ’80s and a harbinger of extreme evangelism and conspiracy theories to come. US, 1997, digital, 42 min.

Fabulous Stains: Behind the Movie (with Sarah Jacobsen)
Made with underground filmmaker Sarah Jacobsen, this documentary goes behind the scenes of the now legendary 1982 music drama about three teenage girls in a punk band, Ladies and Gentlemen, The Fabulous Stains. The original film starred Diane Lane, Laura Dern, and Marin Kanter, with acting roles by members of the Sex Pistols, the Clash, and the Tubes, and became a cult favorite on late-night cable TV, earning fans among riot grrrl bands of the ’90s. US, 1999, digital, 12 min.

Pie Fight ’69 (with Christian Bruno)
Green recalls a nearly forgotten moment of radicalism in the history of cinema when a band of countercultural filmmakers disrupted a black-tie film festival opening night with a silent-era pie fight. US, 2000, 16mm transferred to digital, 8 min.

N-Judah 5:30
A portrait of the streetcar that passed in front of Green’s San Francisco apartment. US, 2004, 16mm transferred to digital, 3 min.

lot 63, grave c
Meredith Hunter was the teenager killed by Hell’s Angels at the Rolling Stones’ notorious Altamont concert in 1969, what was supposed to be the West Coast version of Woodstock. Symbolizing the end of 1960s idealism, the event is recalled through Green’s discovery of Hunter’s unmarked grave. US, 2006, HD, 10 min.

Clear Glasses
Mark Rudd, a former member of the Weather Underground, sent Sam Green a pair of his glasses worn the day he turned himself in. Green’s essay film is a poetic meditation on the meaning of the gift and artifact. US, 2008, HD, 4 min.

Julius Caesar was buried in a Pet Cemetery
On the way to the airport in Columbus, Ohio, Green tours a very special pet cemetery, “the greatest in the world.” Featuring a musical score by Yo La Tengo. US, 2018, HD, 4 min.

Sam Green is a New York–based documentary filmmaker. Green’s recent projects are “live documentaries,” with in-person narration and musicians, including Yo La Tengo and Kronos Quartet, performing a live soundtrack. Green received his MA in Journalism from the University of California, Berkeley, where he studied documentary with Marlon Riggs. Green’s new work, 32 Sounds, will premiere in the Walker Cinema with original live music by JD Samson (Le Tigre) and headphones for each audience member.

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