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Filmography of Peter Mays

VISION
experimental feature
8mm, black & white, silent

    Part I: "The End." Three surrealist dreams are enacted in a strange night. In the following day, the world is set on fire by lightning; the fires are put out by ocean waves.
    Part 2: "Resurrection." The dead are raised from their graves. They ascend upward, pulled by a pulsating light. They are judged, chastened horribly, and resurrected into the body of Christ.
    VISION is heavily influenced by Cocteau, Anger, Eisenstein, and especially Carl Dreyer. VISION is an imaginary adaptation of the Book of Revelation.

1960-62, 50 minutes

THE ONE BEDROOM APARTMENT
short
16mm, black & white

Cast:
Judith Lee Batton
William Alpert
Marvin Hardin

    A young couple with sexual problems is visited by a friend. The evening ends with a startling revelation. Inspired by the New Wave, this short story, lyric and vulnerable, is told without dialogue but accompanied by music.

1963, 25 minutes

STREAM
experimental short
8mm, silent

    The meanderings of a mountain stream are followed for a few miles. Recorded on 8mm Kodachrome and "cluster" edited to create a highly formal, fugal experience.

1964, 13 minutes

DEATH OF THE GORILLA
experimental short
16mm

    A sight/sound combine of exotic imagry shot semi-randomly in superimposition off a TV and then cut to make a fast moving but extremely ambiguous "story". GORILLA moves through modern man's myth mind like a runaway train bursting at the seams. Prize at Ann Arbor Film Festival, 1967.
    A second, darker version of GORILLA was cut in 1970, the APE OF THOTH version.

1965-66, 16 minutes

THE STAR CURTAIN TANTRA
experimental short
16mm

    A trance film originally released in 1966 as THE STAR CURTAIN, about the settling and relaxation of the senses after a climax. "Sentences" of cosmic imagry were added in 1969 to form the vision glimpsed in the trance. Dialectic opposition of picture and sound. TANTRA played at the San Francisco Film Festival of 1970.

1965-69, 18 minutes

THE TIME BEYOND THOUGHT
experimental feature (incomplete)
16mm

Cast:
Herb Elsky
Kirsten Weimann
Susan Atkins
Pat O'Neill
Judith Batton
Louise Leak
and other art students and models

    The sixties kids are hanging out. An Angel appears who stops time. The kids follow him into an underground fantasy. They go through numerous adventures (only one "sleeper" scene was shot), and wind up at the center of the earth. Here the Angel sedates each kid and then kills himself. From the Angel's blood arises a naked vampire girl who slits each kid's throat. Then the god of the underworld raises the kids as zombies preparatory to eating them. One girl escapes to tell the tale.
    Partially shot in 1966, the climax was released in 1968 as NIGHT OF THE VAMPIRE. In 2000 the original film was reconstructed in video with the original title.

1966-2000, 23 minutes

SISTER MIDNIGHT
experimental feature
16mm

Cast:
Kirsten Weimann
Lance Richbourg
Victoria Bond
Jeffrey Perkins
Susan Atkins

    Five young adults meet on a rainy night in Los Angeles and enter as a group into a series of dreams. Various adventures occur. Sister Midnight allows one of the guys to enter her mind; as a result of this invasion of her privacy, she is reborn.

1967-74, 65 minutes

ASTRAL MAN
experimental feature
16mm

    The past is recaptured in this memory film of the sixties. A house in Hollywood off the Sunset Strip serves as a metaphor for a reconstruction of time based on cycles. The film-maker lives in a cell-like room just off the living room. An archetype emerges in the form of a mountain. The acid experience congeals the reptilian self, and the film-maker repairs to the beach in Venice to recover.

1968-2000, 46 minutes

LIGHT SHOW
footage
16mm

    The SINGLE WING TURQUOISE BIRD light show was active in Los Angeles from 1968 to 1973. In 2005 this footage was included in the Visual Music exhibition at the Hirshhorn and MOCA museums. The continuous members were: Jeff Perkins, Michael Scroggins, Jon Greene, Peter Mays. Intermittant members included Sam Francis, Larry Janss, Rol Murrow, David Lebrun, and Charles Lippincott, who also managed the show.

1970, 4 minutes

THE WAR BETWEEN HEAVEN AND EARTH
experimental short
slides and tape to video

    The war between Israel and Lebanon in 1982 is recounted. Religion and politics are mixed with war in a witch's brew of indigestible broth.

1982, 24 minutes

A GRAVEYARD TALE
experimental short
slides and tape to video

    A record of thoughts in a graveyard in Ojai, California, culminating in a revelation of the reality of the spiritual in the physical world.

1982, 7 minutes

THE WARS OF THE ROSES
experimental feature
slides and tape to video

    This Goethean novel, shot in Topanga, California, attempts to balance and equate the realms of human beings, plants, the sky and light. The birth, blossoming, decay and death of plants is seen as a parallel of our own existence. The roses, red and white, intertwine and may or may not mate; they may as likely be at war as at peace. The theme is Mahler's "The Song of the Earth."

1988-92, 92 minutes

THE DRAGON
experimental feature
video

    This video illustrates certain entries in the film-makers's audio journal of January, 1994. It is an expression and exploration of the feelings of being "burned" by the doings of a close friend; inchoate, "outside of life" feelings which lead to revelations of how the Dragon releases bits and pieces of the primal life force to keep us in line and the engine of society going.

1994, 88 minutes

ARRIVAL OF THE PURPLE LEGIONS
experimental short
DV

    This short story is a metaphor, based on a dream, about death. It is dedicated to Jon Greene.

2003-5, 8 minutes

CLEOPATRA
experimental short
DV

    This computer-generated experiment expresses the interplay of the ancient cultures of Egypt, Greece, and Rome in the story of Cleopatra and her two Roman lovers, Julius Caesar and Mark Antony. Magic and myth are the real players in this investigation into the Golden Age.

2005-6, 18 minutes

DARK ISLAND
experimental short
HD

    This film, three years in the making, is an exploration of an imaginary dark island of the mind. Made as unconsciously as possible, it might be about religious activity in the jungle. Featuring King Kong (as the GORILLA), the Buddha, Siva and Shakti, and a tree spirit.

2006-9, 24 minutes

YOGA-SUTRAS
experimental short
HD

    Made from clips orignially created for a light show, Yoga-Sutras contrasts Eastern meditation with Western magic, using an ABA structure.

2010, 16 minutes

ALEPH
experimental short
HD

    Made from clips for a light show and alchemy and magic, this is a love story of two spheres. Featuring Man Ray's "Les Mysteres du Chateau de De" and music by Eric Satie and John Cage.

2012, 16 minutes

THE CONVERSATION OF EIROS AND CHARMION
experimental short
HD
Starring
Monica Angrand

    This is an adaptation of a short story of the same name by Edgar Allan Poe. The conversation takes place in Aiden, a place like Purgatory after death. Eiros relates how she died and the world ended by a comet which collides with the earth.

2014, 7 minutes