Image Union: Human Hair

Image Union broadcast of "Human Hair." Produced as part of the Chicago Editing Center's Artist-in-Residence program, the tape is a loosely connected experimental piece that borders most often on documentary. Cain and Friedman reference important issues of the day, such as the gasoline shortage and the meltdown at Three Mile Island. The tone of the tape is very light and often humorous. Note: This version was taped off the air and begins with a promo for "Masterpiece Theatre.

00:00Copy video clip URL Tape opens mid-promo for “I, Claudius” on Masterpiece Theatre, followed by station identification

00:24Copy video clip URL Image Union opening.

01:02Copy video clip URL Nancy Cain and Bart Friedman at a gas station in Woodstock, New York, on their way to the Chicago Editing Center. They then go on to western Pennsylvania and onward.

03:05Copy video clip URL Friedman dialing a pay phone in Chicago for directions. A flyer stating that Cain & Friedman are the Chicago Editing Center’s Artists in Residence is shown.

03:27Copy video clip URL Cain stands in front of a copy of the painting “American Gothic” except the subjects are wearing gas masks. She speaks about Three Mile Island and tells of a news report attributing it to “human hair,” rather than “human error.” This leads into a news report.

03:52Copy video clip URL As a collapsed building burns at Racine & Clybourn, Cain pans left to show people still eating at the Palestine Kosher Red Hots & Polish Sausage restaurant next door. Firefighters arrive on the scene and begin to extinguish the blaze, refusing to answer Friedman’s questions and speculating sarcastically that the fire was started by “a match.” Dialogue between the firefighters is mostly incomprehensible.

05:44Copy video clip URL Friedman interviews some salvagers at the scene. They are salvaging antique brick. The fire is still going behind them. Sirens can be heard in the distance, suggesting this was perhaps filmed before the above segment.

06:49Copy video clip URL B-roll of a salvage yard and barges. Cain is both on camera and voiceover talking about the surroundings which lead into the capitalist system: “the other day you know I had to have my thumbprint taken today to cash a check at the bank. I told the woman ‘this is what turns nice middle class girls into the SLA.'”

09:21Copy video clip URL Footage of Chicago from the front seat of a moving cab as a woman speaks about what she thinks the view from the top of the Sears Tower must look like as well as air pollution from airplanes “The Sears Tower is like the Statue of Liberty..” A woman is then seen standing in front of the Tower and looking up. B-roll of outside and inside the Tower, including a sign saying visibility is zero.

11:43Copy video clip URL Helen Roberts on the phone, talking about how it feels to look from the top of the tower.

12:27Copy video clip URL Roberts talks over b-roll of views of the observation deck and from the windows. “There’s a lot of fog so I can’t actually see reality, all I can do is construct the metaphor, the symbol of being on the top…and thinking how it would feel to be on the top of money and status and success in the city.” Roberts is then interviewed by Friedman.

13:46Copy video clip URL At 43rd and Lake Park streets, “One Stop Food & Liquors” Cain interviews a cop as children mug at the camera. They then go inside to meet the owner Nick Kladis, who is also interviewed by Cain. He discusses the neighborhood climate when he opened his store in 1966 as well as buying operations. Cain and Friedman then go into the meat room & counter and interview a few employees and customers.

20:14Copy video clip URL Cain in front of various animal murals, giving nutritional tips.

20:35Copy video clip URL Friedman dressed in a lead apron and carries what might be a radiation detector. He does the robot with kids on the street and interviews a man about “what he might have been exposed to in his career.” The man discusses his experiences with noise pollution, behaving in an oddly cagey manner.

24:03Copy video clip URL Friedman interviews another man: “My luck gone right now,” mainly due to the murder of his mother eight years ago.

24:42Copy video clip URL Friedman buys Jinx Remover from a shop specializing in love/luck/happiness/success/etc. potions. Cain reads a label on the bottom of one of these potions for a astrological analysis/forecast for $3. Friedman: “I just can’t believe there’s nothing for good health.”

25:59Copy video clip URL Credits roll.

26:32Copy video clip URL Image Union credits roll.

27:00Copy video clip URL static, then Image Union comment call/address, more static.


1 Comment

  1. Erick Rosales says:

    ending voice-over by Marty Robinson

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