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William Farley

"Self-Portrait Alvin Lucier" (2017) HD stereo, 8 minutes.

Solo flute musician Barbara Held improvises with a wind anemometer. Air flows through Ms. Held's flute which animates the blades of the anemometer, to spin at various speeds. A single light source illuminates flickering shadows across the face of the flutist leading to a compelling viewer experience. Alvin Lucier composer, cinematographer Barry Stone, edited by Barry Stone and William Farley, produced and directed by William Farley.


"Plastic Man: The Artful Life of Jerry Ross Barrish" (2015) HD stereo, 74 minutes.

Jerry’s tale is one of metamorphoses: First an activist bail bondsman during 1960’s San Francisco, then an indie filmmaker, he now shapes society’s detritus into figures alive with feeling. His hardworking Jewish relatives were boxing enthusiasts vaguely connected to the San Francisco mob with no interest in the arts. Then he broke the mold. Inspired by the times, he delved into art collecting, and then launched himself as a sculptor and filmmaker. While the art world approves of the imagination seen in his work, some scorn the materials he uses. Jerry Barrish’s beloved junk plastic does not typically interest the top galleries or the established collectors. Will he dare lose his voice and attempt to work in a more acceptable material? The film addresses this challenge, and his search for greater recognition. Edited by Richard Levien, music by Beth Custer, produced by Janis Plotkin, and directed by William Farley.


"The Walk” (2011) HD stereo, 10 minutes.

Several years ago, a short distance from where I live, I found a walk or maybe it found me, I’m really not sure, but I am drawn there often, and it is always the same and always different. The wind, rain and bay have sculptured the landscape along this walk to mirror the forces at work there. The film is a portrait of this park, and celebrates its ethereal, alluring beauty. Text read by John O’Keefe, edited by Hyeyon Moon, written and photographed by William Farley. A film by William Farley and Hyeyon Moon. 


"Shadow and Light, the life and art of Elaine Badgley Arnoux" (2009) HD stereo, 28 minutes.

Elaine Badgley Arnoux has lived her artistic life to its fullest. Coming of age in an era when avant-garde art – and the freewheeling life that went with it – was still seen largely as a boys’ club. Arnoux traveled the world, changing homes, countries, and lovers, and followed her artistic vision with abandon, “I was very old when I was young, I wasn’t young until I was old.” Inspired by her femininity, rather than deterred, she employed large canvasses depicting the social upheavals of her times, as well as serene collective portraits of people inhabiting the places she loves the most – Biot, in southern France, and San Francisco, California. At 82 years old, she remains a revelation of dedication and vision, with a mischievous appetite for life and art. Photographed by Barry Stone and William Farley, edited by Richard Levien, produced by Mary Morrow, directed by William Farley. Says Mill Valley Film Festival, “Director William Farley offers another deft and revealing portrait of an outsider artist who defies stereotypes of gender, culture and age.” 


"Walt Whitman’s SONG OF MYSELF" (2007) SD, stereo, 50 minutes.

Schools and bridges are named after him, yet most of us only read Walt Whitman in high school - without realizing his profound depth and his startlingly sensuous imagery. Song of Myself has been called the Second Constitution of the United States. Walt Whitman celebrated the moment, the special grandeur of everyday life - of breathing, of being, of ordinary things. Internationally acclaimed playwright, director, and solo performer, John O’Keefe has adapted “Song of Myself” into a dramatic tour de force poised between a straight recitation and an imaginative interpretation.  O’Keefe’s performance captures the spirit and music of Whitman’s words that every image and nuance is viscerally immediate and easily accessible to the modern ear. Mr. O’Keefe delivers Whitman’s radically democratic, all-embracing vision of America as a nation of many nations and individuals. “Every poet has his own Walt Whitman within him. John O’Keefe liberated his Whitman and gave it to the open air, much to everybody’s delight,” says poet Lawrence Ferlinghetti. Edited by Richard Levien, produced and directed by William Farley. 


"Arianna’s Journey" (2007) SD, stereo, 30 minutes.

Arianna’s Journey is the story of an Italian woman with the gift of healing as she travels in pursuit of spiritual fulfillment. It takes us from an exorcism in Italy to sacred caves in France, from a peyote ritual in Mexico to holy shrines in Israel. Following this modern day pilgrimage, the film is a meditation on both the sublime and the mundane. Filmed by William Farley, edited by Richard Levien, produced and directed by William Farley. 


"Darryl Henriques is in Show Business" (2006) SD, stereo, 28 minutes.

People in the entertainment industry recognize Darryl Henriques as an immensely talented comedian – one who creates a unique and biting commentary on modern life.  Yet, up until now he’s been unable to break through and make a living as a performer. Perhaps because he is driven to speak the truth, even when it conflicts with his ambitions.  All his life Darryl has been caught between his desire for success and his need to challenge authority - both on and off stage.  At times, Darryl deliberately alienates his audience with his improvised routines and then tries to win them back. Such theatrics give pause to the people who could help Darryl to become more of a commercial success. This film reveals a portrait of an artist struggling to come to terms with his eccentricities as he attempts to gain access to a larger audience without compromising his spontaneity or the integrity of his humor.  Appearances by Peter Coyote, Ed Begley Jr., Paul Krassner, and Jeremy Larner. Filmed by William Farley, edited by Richard Levien, produced and directed by William Farley.


"The Stories "(2005) SD, stereo, 5 minutes.

Like a Sufi tale, The Stories conjures a profound situation and then undercuts it with an understated efficiency that jolts us into a moment of altered awareness. Urgently desiring an intimate connection with his dying parent, the son begs his father to talk, and in his desire to have an intimate moment with him, creates an ironic encounter with reality. Filmed by Barry Stone, edited by Richard Levien, produced and directed by William Farley. 


"Of Men and Angels" (1989) 35mm, stereo, 88 minutes (remixed in 2005)

This film centers on one month in the lives of three strong willed individuals. Mike (Jack Byrne) is a taxi driver and unrequited Irish-American writer in the post-beat tradition. Mike lives with Maria (Theresa Saldana) a beautiful cultured Salvadorian who is carrying his child and expects him to live up to his responsibilities of fatherhood. When Irish literary maverick Padric Reilly (John Molloy) falls into their lives, the three are confronted with the struggle for control of their own dreams - and each other. Featuring: John Molloy, Theresa Saldana, Jack Byrne. Screenplay by Deborah Rogin, William Farley and Marjorie Berger. Score by Patrick Bowsher.  Produced by Ann Hatch and Simon Edery, edited and directed by William Farley. 


"broke (Redux)" (1995) 16mm & 35mm, color, stereo, 10 minutes. (remix 2004)

 A short but timeless journey into the heart of the most complex obstacle standing in the way of ending homelessness: society’s growing numbness to the problem of urban poverty. Music by Todd Boekelheide, performed by The Kronos Quartet. Director of Photography, Joplin Wu. Edited and directed by William Farley. 


"The Old Spaghetti Factory" (2000) SD, stereo, 28 minutes.

Mal and Sandra Sharpe found a painting in an upscale Berkeley junk shop. They bought the colorful mural which was painted in 1963 and had once been on the wall of North Beach’s Old Spaghetti Factory. The Sharpe’s puzzled over the forty faces in the painting. With filmmaker William Farley, they discovered these people were writers, artists, poets, and performers at the heart of San Francisco’s thriving bohemian scene. This documentary is a record of what they found, and captures the spirit of the Beat generation and the life of this unique night spot.  A collaboration between William Farley, Sandra and Mal Sharpe. 


"In Between The Notes" (1986) SD, stereo, 28 minutes. 

Pandit Pran Nath is the last Raga singer in a long line of North Indian vocal masters in the Kirana style of Indian classical music. This documentary follows Pran Nath back to India and traces his journey. Accompanied by his disciple the American avant-garde composer Terry Riley, the film celebrates the Indian musician’s life and work and its impact on modern classical music. Filmed by Bill Marpet, edited by Jim Newman and William Farley, produced by Jim Newman, directed by William Farley. 


"Tribute"(1986) 16mm, black and white, 7 minutes. 

An affirmative view of life and death. The images are almost without exception from the nineteen fifties; a ship launching, a woman dancing, a tree falling, a train passing- impersonal subjects which nonetheless are icons and metaphors for our most personal thoughts. Image after image emerge from darkness and hurl us toward remembrances of the purity and conflict that are part of our collective experiences of being alive. Music by David Byrne, edited and directed by William Farley.


"Citizen, I’m Not Losing My Mind I’m Giving It Away" (1982) 16mm, color, stereo, 75 minutes.

The film follows a group of anonymous young people on an apparently random journey through a disjointed San Francisco Bay cityscape. Along their travels they encounter a succession of mad outsiders, portrayed by various West Coast performance artists, whose impassioned monologues and improvisations satirize the institutions of contemporary American society. Featuring: Stoney Burke, Bob Carroll, Whoopi Goldberg (in her first screen appearance), Darryl Henriques, Murray Korngold, Pons Maar, John O’Keefe and Michael Peppe. Cinematography by Kathleen Beeler, produced by Kenny Vetter, edited and directed by William Farley.


"Made For Television " (1981) 16mm, color, stereo, 5 minutes. 

A dense assemblage of excerpts from television commercials juxtaposed to a soundtrack of extraordinary facts about human beings the results of which presents a humorous and critical view of TV advertising manipulation. Directed and edited by William Farley, narrated by Leland Mellott.


"Become An Artist" (1981) 16mm, color, stereo, 1 minute.

A satire on television pitches, and how society sees the self-importance of artists.  Featuring Father Guido Sarducci (Don Novello), from Saturday Night Live. Written and directed by George Manupelli, edited and produced by William Farley.  


"Marathain The Irish Film" (1979) 16mm, color, mono, 1 minute. 

“Marathain” is the Irish word for the act of surviving.  I wandered around Ireland for two months searching for knowledge and understanding of my Irishness. The film weaves together found footage, interviews, and wildly unpredictable monologues into an impressionistic portrait of the Irish psyche.  Filmed, edited, and directed by William Farley. 


"The Bell Rang To An Empty Sky" (1977) 16mm, color, mono, 6 minutes.

This film has taken one of the many tragedies buried in American history which befell the native Indian people. Through the voice of Dennis Banks, the film creates a tight and perceptive visual and aural storytelling and interpretation of the events. The selection of images, their iconography and meaning, effectively explored through juxtaposition, creates a powerful impact.  (John Hanhardt, Curator of Film and Video, Guggenheim Museum of Art, New York, N.Y.) Filmed, edited and directed by William Farley, written by Charles Burress & William Farley.


"Being" (1975) 16mm, color, mono, 10 minutes.

A man sits drinking beer in front of his TV. The program that he occasionally glances at is a montage of popular culture images: old movies, commercials, and news clips.  Accompanying the fleeting images is a loosely synchronous narrative on the evolution of western man’s belief systems.  The man’s behavior watching television becomes a commentary on contemporary culture; the relationship between public information and private consciousness, and the nature of reality. Filmed by Willie Boy Walker, produced by Larry Arnstein and William Farley, edited and directed by William Farley.


"Sea Space" (1972/remastered 1997) 16mm & 35mm, black and white, mono, 8 minutes.

The film documents a conversation I had with a crew member aboard a cargo ship in the South China Sea. The story revolves around the actual confession I recorded of a fellow seaman and his involvement in the accidental death of a group of Korean fishermen and his compliance in not trying to rescue them.  The film is edited in a manner which allows the story to unfold without revealing the identity of the storyteller. Filmed, edited and directed by William Farley, produced by Rick Schmidt and William Farley.

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