Underground Film Journal

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Ann Arbor: Ben Russell’s Trypps 1-7

By Mike Everleth ⋅ January 18, 2011

The letter A logo for the Ann Arbor Film Festival

Jan. 22
8:00 p.m.
327 Braun Court
Ann Arbor, MI 48104

Hosted by: Ann Arbor Film Festival

Chicago-based experimental documentary filmmaker Ben Russell presents all seven of his hallucinatory Trypps short film series, which range from purely abstract swirls to ethnographic travels to as diverse locations as Dubai, Malobi and Rhode Island.

This is a special event being hosted by the Ann Arbor Film Festival. Tickets are a suggested donation of $5, with all proceeds going to help fund the fest.

Russell has been producing his Trypps series since 2005, which have all been produced on film. The first four are numbered by the title “Black and White Trypps,” although the third film, which is an hallucinatory take on a punk rock concert, is actually in color. The other three films are pure abstract images, from #1, which appears to be an escalating flickering of markings on black leader or unexposed film stock, to #4, which is an edited strip of film from a Richard Pryor concert.

Man wearing a Halloween fright mask with an orange wig

With Trypps #5, Russell started focusing on exotic locations, beginning with neon signs in Dubai, then moving to a bizarre Halloween ritual captured in #6. His most recent, #7, was produced just last year.

Below is the technical details of each film along with an excerpt from Trypps #6 (Malobi). You can also read more about Russell at his website, Dime Show.

Black and White Trypps Number One (6:30, 16mm, b/w, silent, 2005)
Black and White Trypps Number Two (9:00, 16mm, b/w, silent, 2006)
Black and White Trypps Number Three (12:00, 35mm, color, SR, 2007) (Watch online)
Black and White Trypps Number Four (11:00, 16mm, b/w, sound, 2008)
Trypps #5 (Dubai) (3:00, 16mm, color, silent, 2008)
Trypps#6 (Malobi) (12:00, 16mm, color, sound, 2009) (Read the review)
Trypps#7 (Badlands) (10:00, Super 16mm on HD, color, sound, 2010)

Watch #6: