“I am of the opinion that my life belongs to the whole community and as long as I live, it is my privilege to do for it whatever I can. I want to be thoroughly used up when I die, for the harder I work the more I live.” –George Bernard Shaw

A SPELL TO WARD OFF THE DARKNESS, a screening series curated by Ben Rivers and Ben Russell, conceived around themes explored in their collaborative film, A Spell to Ward Off the Darkness (2013). The screening series is organized for EXPO 1: New York by Aily Nash in conjunction with the EXPO Cinema and the EXPO  Colony.

Milestones by Robert Kramer and John Douglas,
1975, 195 min, digital, United States

Somewhere in the middle of this wondrous time capsule of a movie – a willfully meandering, socio-political, and altogether remarkable film – an adult daughter tells her mother how afraid she is of continuing on in America alone.  Her mother responds, “You’re right to be frightened.  I don’t think there’s anything more frightening than a private, selfish life.”  I have just left the USA, I am watching Milestones on an airplane above the Pacific Ocean and tears are running down my cheeks.  I cry again, later: a sister gives birth, a community of hands circled around her.  If this is a catalog of the past, it is also a roadmap of the future – proof that the capitalism can be resisted, that even drifting apart can be a way to come back together, to occupy the present. –BR