Underground Film Journal

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On DVD: Prometheus’ Garden

Prometheus' Garden

Brett Ingram directed and released a documentary called Monster Road about cult animator Bruce Bickford a couple years back that played at a bunch of underground film festivals. This was before I recorded this kind of thing on the Underground Film Journal, but it screened at the Chicago, Calgary, Lausanne and Antimatter underground fests, according to the film’s website.

Now, four years later, Ingram has just released a half-hour surreal claymation film by Bickford called Prometheus’ Garden on DVD. Back in the ’70s, Bickford relinquished creative control over most of his work to Frank Zappa, who edited and created his own scores for Bickford’s films. (An aside: Zappa, I guess, had a habit of “collecting” unusual artists and their work. For example, he also became the patron of Cynthia Plaster Caster, whose story is recounted in the doc Plaster Caster.)

However, Prometheus’ Garden is the “only film over which Bickford maintained complete creative control.” This new DVD from Ingram’s Bright Eye Pictures is also the first time the film has ever been made available to the public. Here’s the film’s description:

Inspired by the Greek myth of Prometheus, a Titan who created the first mortals from clay and stole fire from the gods, Prometheus’ Garden immerses viewers in a cinematic universe unlike any other. The dark and magical images of this haunting film unfold in a dreamlike stream of consciousness revealing an unlikely cast of clay characters engaged in violent struggle for survival. Like all Bickford films, Prometheus’ Garden defies description and simply must be experienced.

Actually, just the trailer — embedded below — is enough to give you nightmares. If you want to buy the film and/or the new “Collector’s Edition” DVD of Monster Road, please visit the Bright Eye Pictures website.