Peggy And Fred In Hell: The Complete Cycle

Leslie Thornton’s remarkable, mind-boggling experimental feature-length cycle of short films, worked on and released in episodes over a period of yearsa postapocalyptic narrative about two children feeling their way through the refuse of late-20th-century consumer culture; the films employ a wide array of found footage as well as peculiar, unpredictable, and often funny performances from two found actors. Apart from one startling and beautiful color shot in the penultimate episode, Whirling, the whole cycle is in black and white. Highly idiosyncratic and deeply creepy, this series as a wholewhich includes passages in both film and video, sometimes shown concurrentlyrepresents the most exciting work of the 80s American avant-garde that I know, a saga that raises questions about everything while making everything seem very strange. Don’t miss this. (JR)

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