7 1/2 LBS/Second – Tooth Stories – BiCentennial Quiz

This tape features three short pieces created by Nick Despota in Chicago in the mid seventies.

00:00Copy video clip URL This tape begins with static and a blue screen.

00:22Copy video clip URL “7 1/2 LBS/Second.” The videomakers interview a number of families in a park about their barbecuing habits. Each family lists the food they have brought to the barbecue, each family seemingly having brought more food than the last. The image is fairly rough throughout this portion of the tape.

04:51Copy video clip URL A woman sings about the prodigious amount of food her family has brought to the barbecue. The piece ends shortly afterward.

06:10Copy video clip URL “Tooth Stories” is a collection of interviews with people about their experiences at the dentist’s office. Men, women, and children are instructed to hold a piece of paper over their eyes so they can remain anonymous as they share their personal stories. The piece begins with a terrible story about a botched dental surgery. The older, grizzled man goes into detail about the painful surgery that took place. “That what the worst experience I ever had in the dentist’s care.”

06:54Copy video clip URL A man talks about his having to get caps after losing a few teeth. He states that the process was very painful. “If I knew the pain involved, I would never do it again.” A women then talks about how her pain during dental checkups has decreased due to her dating her dentist.¬†Another woman talks about an instance in which her friend made sexual advances on her dentist while high on laughing gas.

08:39Copy video clip URL A man talks about an instance in which a dentist drilled a drill bit into his bone marrow and could not get it out. Another man talks about developing a terrible infection after a botched dental surgery. “It looked like I’d gone ten rounds with the heavy weight champ afterward.” Other people continue to talk about their experiences.

12:18Copy video clip URL Cut to a group of children who talks about their experiences at the dentist. They eventually break out into song.

14:06Copy video clip URL A man gives the date and location for shooting which took place on June 6, 1976 in Chicago.

14:17Copy video clip URL “The BiCentennial Quiz,” shot in April of 1976. The videomaker drives around the city of Chicago, pulls up next to people inside parked cars or stopped at traffic lights, and asks them to name off 15 states in fifteen seconds in order to win a prize.

15:31Copy video clip URL The videomakers pull up to a man who seems utterly confused to see a camera and a microphone sticking out of the side of a car. The videomakers quickly move on down the line, driving from parked car to parked car, quizzing every person that agrees to participate. Many of the contestants are initially confused, but are generally pretty excited at the thought of winning a prize. This lasts for several minutes.

19:55Copy video clip URL The videomakers try to go through a few quizzes while driving along a busy street. They continue to go through as many quizzes as they can.

22:05Copy video clip URL The videomakers approach a man on the street and ask him to name fifteen states in fifteen seconds. The man rattles off the fifteen states rather quickly and wins a prize. The videomakers move on and ask a few more people off of the street to participate. One man asks the videomakers about the prize, an envelope with a list of the fifty states.

24:35Copy video clip URL The videomaker asks for another person’s participation, but are turned down. They quickly move on to quiz a few more people. Some choose to participate, some do not. It is an interesting look into how people respond to the proposal.

29:23Copy video clip URL The videomakers pull over to the side of the street and ask a few people to participate in the quiz. The first man agrees to the quiz and begins naming off states of mind rather than U.S. states. This is followed by footage of another quiz with a woman who, after naming off about thirteen states, begins to also name off different states of mind.

30:54Copy video clip URL The videomakers return to a past participant who tries her hand at the quiz once again. She ultimately fails, but maintains a joyful outlook on the situation. They reward her with a consolation prize. This is followed by the closing for the piece.

32:59Copy video clip URL Tape ends.



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