This Week In Joe’s Basement, episode 01: Structural Cinema

An homage to the infamous films like **** (24-hours of the exterior of the Empire State Building) and Sleep (eight hours of a man sleeping.). When this was taped, in June 1989, Andy Warhol had recently died, and the Art Institute of Chicago mounted a lavish commemorative exhibition of his art. Not only was “Structural Cinema” created without any intention of following it up with an Episode 2 or 3 (both Joe and Paul assumed they’d move on to other projects), but it was not meant to be watched or enjoyed by anyone. In fact, the show begins with the host urging viewers to stop watching, and “go outside, read a poem, do something constructive.” Soon the series would adopt as its slogan, “Don’t watch too much TV. It’s not good for you.”

Description:  

An homage to the infamous films like **** (24-hours of the exterior of the Empire State Building) and Sleep (eight hours of a man sleeping.)

Joe introduces himself, then sits in his kitchen, drinking a beer and making a snack, while a timer counts down the remaining minutes of the half-hour program.

Production Notes:

When this was taped, in June 1989, Andy Warhol had recently died, and the Art Institute of Chicago mounted a lavish commemorative exhibition of his art.

Not only was “Structural Cinema” created without any intention of following it up with an Episode 2 or 3 (both Joe and Paul assumed they’d move on to other projects), but it was not meant to be watched or enjoyed by anyone.

In fact, the show begins with the host urging viewers to stop watching, and “go outside, read a poem, do something constructive.” Soon the series would adopt as its slogan, “Don’t watch too much TV.  It’s not good for you.”

The show aired three times in July of 1989, on Chicago’s Cable Channel 19, with no advance notice or publicity.  Its producers gathered at a local bar to watch the initial broadcast, since none of them had cable TV at home.  By the end of the half hour, the teeming bar room had cleared, leaving Joe and Paul alone with the bartender.

 

1 Comment

  1. ashley says:

    I’m so glad this is still accessible in this archive. Joe’s Basement is great.

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