Peter Emmanuel Goldman's rarely screened debut, an underappreciated landmark of the New American Cinema, chronicles the lives of twenty-somethings adrift in New York City, finding tremendous pathos in the smallest moments: a furtive glance across a museum gallery, girls putting on makeup, a stroll beneath the pulsing lights of Times Square marquees. Composed with a lo-fi purity and bereft of diegetic sound, its shadowy images of youthful flaneurs are paired with evocatively hand-painted title cards and a dynamic soundtrack drawn from the artist's LPs that, when combined, conjure up a ballad of sexual dependency like none other.
Echoes of Silence (1965) 16mm – 75min – USA – subtitles in French & German
contains a 44-page interview with Goldman by Emeric de Lastens
+ a bonus short: Pestilent City (1965) – 15min
‘Goldman, who established himself as one of the leading lights of the American underground film movement with his first feature film, […] made his second feature in France, with Clémenti starring as a young man adrift in Paris, searching for meaning via sexual encounters, solitary contemplation, and an exploration of both Western and Eastern religious traditions. Hardly seen in the US, in the sixties or since, Wheel of Ashes represents a fascinating intersection of important European and American underground figures. ‘There was not one of us who was not profoundly touched by this film… perhaps the first to give a true feeling of certain quarters of Paris.’ - Cahiers du Cinéma
‘His people come to life simply and believably – more believably than most of the people in the Chabrol and Truffaut cinema… the film has a thematic and formal beauty that is remarkable.’ - Jonas Mekas
‘[…] the most exciting new filmmaker in recent years. Echoes of Silence, his first film, is a stunning piece of work.’ - Susan Sontag