Underground Film Journal

Posted In » Online Cinema

Watch Online: A Suicide

By Mike Everleth ⋅ February 5, 2007

I found A Suicide on another one of those video sharing sites called Blip.TV. It’s a short film by Richard Klemann and the notes say that it was one of the pioneering films of the Cinema of Transgression movement headed up by Nick Zedd and Richard Kern. Sadly, my own knowledge about Transgression is lacking, but there’s some good resources on the web about it, so I may be posting more on it in the future as I uncover more research.

While Zedd and Kern have their own websites and still do a lot to promote themselves, there’s little about Klemann on the web. A Suicide is available on the Cinema of Transgression compilation DVD, along with Klemann’s peers’ work. But the only other example of Klemann’s video online that I could find is this live performance of “Seduced By Fire.” (Update: Since removed.)

A Suicide is a really nicely shot film about a guy preparing for his self-execution via homemade electrical chair. The extremely creepy soundtrack is appropriated from George Romero’s Night of the Living Dead, which is really one of the great horror movie soundtracks of all time. Does it ever get that credit? I don’t know.

I’m embedding the film here, but I kinda more recommend clicking through and watching it in full screen mode as the Blip.TV player is extremely small. The Blip.TV notes also say that the film “premiered the NY Downtown Underground Film Festival.” While the film was produced in 1978, is this note saying that it opened the first New York Underground Film Festival in 1994? Or was there a previous, similar sounding film festival that predated NYUFF? Anyone know? (UPDATE: There was a New York Film Festival Downtown, but that ended in 1988.)