Polis Is This includes
performances by: John Malkovich, Robert Creeley, Amiri Baraka,
Pete Seeger, Jonathan Williams, Vincent Ferrini, Peter Anastas,
John Stilgoe, Anne Waldman, Ammiel Alcalay, Susan Thackery,
Charles Olson, Charlie Olson, Charles Boer, John Sinclair,
Willie Alexander, Stefan Wolpe, Miami Dolphins, Minnesota Vikings,
Charles Stein, Michael Rumaker & Black Mountain College.
People ask how I ever got John Malkovich to read
for Polis Is This.
The Story begins in the late
1970's when I drove a Checker cab in Boston. After my shift I'd
rush home and tune in "Screening Room", an inspiring
and enlightening showcase of documentary, animated and experimental
film. From 1:00 to 3:00 a.m. I basked in the inspirational light;
films by Emile DeAntonio, Stanley Brakhage, Susan Pit, Ricky
Leacock and Les Blank. I was always a foreign film fan back then
but Screening Room was the beginning of my education in independent
film making. The erudite, cigarette smoking host was the renowned
filmmaker and Director of the Film Study Center at Harvard University,
Fast-forward twenty or so years, I'm working on POLIS
and contact Robert to see if I could talk to him about the film.
He agrees and we meet for lunch. Bob knew about Olson and that
my previous film Lowell
Blues: the Words of Jack Kerouac had featured the voice of
Johnny Depp. He wondered if I had considered John Malkovich as
a reader for POLIS. The actor had recently moved with his family
to Bob's neighborhood in Cambridge. John was not familiar with
Olson's work but was a Kerouac fan and I think saw an opportunity
to learn, so he agreed. It was a wonderful stroke and as you can
see and hear John's interpretation of Olson's verse is riveting.
By courtesy ©Ann
Charters from beats & company-portrait of a literary