On Gordon Ball's '66 Frames

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Allen Ginsberg, who helped Ball with some of the research for his book, once remarked on Ball's vantage point:

From city and country communes, underground and avant garde film and photography,
Gordon Ball has been marvelously placed as participant and observer of many
extraordinary art situations.

'66 Frames: A Memoir (Coffee House Press, l999, introduction by Jonas Mekas), is an account of one year in Ball's life thirty-five years ago, working in avant garde film, immersed in New York's counterculture. Its readers have responded with enthusiasm, as these comments suggest:

This book made me want to take acid and have sex with lots of people. It also made me want to stay up all night in the company of my genius friends in the mid-sixties in New York's Lower East Side. It also made me grateful for not being twenty and living in a war-wracked, generation-torn, paranoid world. Gordon Ball writes with compassion and nostalgia about a unique and nearly indescribable epoch.

--Andrei Codrescu

'66 Frames is a beautifully written book which captures the spirit of those times better than any other book I know.

--Filmmaker Stan Brakhage

Those who regard Mekas as a true prophet of the cinema will embrace this book, while others will discover a new perspective on the fertile decade through the poetic refractions of Ball's memory.

--Publishers Weekly

This is it! This is the kind of life we all wished we'd led in the 1960s....

--Bill Morgan, American Book Review

A unique perspective on a much analyzed but still elusive period--when one awoke every day feeling as if personal revelation and cultural revolution were fully attainable. Ball's youthful intelligence and enthusiasm, and his willingness to labor for little money in musty lofts and tenement apartments, put him at the epicenter of New York's downtown film/art/poetry/music scene. He kept excellent notes.

--Amy Taubin, film critic, the Village Voice


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Gordon Ball (striped jersey, making "OK" sign with left index finger & thumb) & jailmates, Mexico, 1968

Copyright 2011

Gordon Ball