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Alone

Stephen Dwoskin

USA, 1964/6
13 minutes, B&W, Opt., 4:3
Original format: 16mm Film
Available formats: HD Video: H.264 Digital File / HD Video: ProRes Digital File

A series of mostly static, often discontinuous shots of a girl alone in bed, ‘halfheartedly trying not to masturbate’ as Raymond Durgnat put it, Alone set the pattern for half-a-dozen of Stephen Dwoskin’s shorts, and was the culmination of a series of attempts with at least two different actors. The girl in the final version was Zelda Nelson, roommate of Beverly Grant, one of the stars of the New York underground. 

‘Since there is no leaving her, and no insertions of other elements,’ wrote Dwoskin, ‘her involvement, in her thoughts and with her body, gradually becomes the viewer’s involvement since there is little else going on but her.’ The film’s sense of indefinite duration is greatly enhanced by Ron Geesin’s pulsing, minimalist soundtrack. – Henry K. Miller

‘Alone is a major departure into projecting feelings and senses of loneliness, timelessness and the sensual self. The film presents moments that are passing tones in any life, yet far from registering a passive despair, protests against a traditional culture which is unable to confront such moments and passes them by as both trivial and obscene.’ – S.D.