October 2021

NEELON CRAWFORD’S FILMS are at once deeply unfashionable and exactly on time. In making his old-school 16-mm productions in the days of cinepoetry, mostly with a Bolex, his principal concerns were light, movement, and texture, often in the natural world. Crawford’s first film, Freakquently, 1968, is pretty much the sort of movie you’d expect a twenty-two-year-old guy impressed by Bruce Conner and living on the outskirts of Haight-Ashbury to make—a try-anything Kodachrome sound-image collage replete with trippy effects, snatches of Jimi Hendrix, and a nude dancer gyrating in a mirrored cube of the filmmaker’s own design. His last, For the Spider Woman, 1980, features dancer Jane Comfort at various stages of pregnancy. In between, he made some two dozen 16-mm movies ranging in length from one to nineteen minutes. Withdrawn from distribution and unseen for decades, Crawford’s oeuvre

— J. Hoberman

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