Chuck Smith Reveals How Barbara Rubin Inspired Andy Warhol, Bob Dylan, and Lou Reed On Tom Needham's SOUNDS OF FILM
Barbara Rubin & THE EXPLODING NY screened at the Rotterdam International Film Festival and at DOC NYC, winning the Metropolitan Grand Jury Prize. Through the story of Barbara Rubin's life, the film redefines and restores the role that a few creative women played in NYC's influential avant garde. From her beginnings working with Jonas Mekas and the Filmmaker's Cooperative to her tragic death at the age of 35, Barbara Rubin was a creative catalyst for some of the 1960's most influential happenings and ideas. Her work inspired Allen Ginsberg, Andy Warhol, Bob Dylan and many others. After connecting Warhol with the Velvet Underground, she helped create the legendary Exploding Plastic Inevitable shows which introduced the idea of multi-media to an entire generation.
Barbara Rubin is widely remembered for her erotic masterpiece, CHRISTMAS ON EARTH, which shocked New York's experimental film scene and inspired NYC's thriving underground. Though she was forever swinging a camera around, Rubin's film legacy is surprisingly limited. After her groundbreaking CHRISTMAS ON EARTH, Rubin wrote several screenplays, but the inherent sexism of the times and the radical nature of her first film inhibited her ability to complete any other major films.
Filmmaker Chuck Smith uses archive of footage from the 1960's to tell Barbara's story. Using rare footage and Barbara's own achingly personal writings, Smith's film reveals a woman who was ahead of her time in almost everything she did. Barbara Rubin & THE EXPLODING NY shows how Rubin tested the limits of the avant garde, dreamed of a better world, escaped to the country, discovered her roots, and, ultimately embraced Orthodox Judaism. The film features Jonas Mekas, Amy Taubin, Richard Foreman and J. Hoberman, as well as music by Bob Dylan, Lou Reed, John Coltrane, and Lee Ranaldo of Sonic Youth.
TOM NEEDHAM's SOUNDS OF FILM is the nation's longest running film and music themed radio show. For the past 30 years, the program has delivered a popular mix of interviews and music to listeners all over Long Island, parts of Connecticut and streaming worldwide live on the internet. Past people interviewed for the show include Laurie Anderson, Rory Kennedy, Mike Leigh, Wild Style's Charlie Ahearn, Brinsley Forde, Theresa Rebeck, Astra Taylor, Melanie, Judy Carmichael, author Andrew Solomon, philosopher Peter Singer, Tree Adams, Bob Geldof and filmmaker Lizzie Borden.