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New York State of Mind 

Wednesday, Sep 23 2009
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“Despair is collaboration with the enemy,” says Ken Jacobs, who’s been serving up vibrant films and acerbic quotes since the mid-1950s. His Brooklyn-bred irreverence and bottomless appetite for capturing life’s moveable feast ooze from titles such as Hot Dogs at the Met and What Happened on 23rd Street in 1901. These shorts, along with forays into animation and found footage — and even a digital retake of a segment from his mid-'60s 8mm feature The Sky Socialist — are collected in “Shocked by Existence: Recent Video Works by Ken Jacobs.” “I’m not a technical whiz, but I’m dogged,” he told the U.K.'s Guardian earlier this year, in an admission of both his old-school work ethic and talent for self-deprecation. Jacobs started out as a painter and has done some acting — check out his unsentimental performance in his son Azazel’s delicate and marvelous 2008 indie feature, Momma’s Man — but his substantial reputation rests on crafting exuberant moving images. No one can accuse Ken Jacobs of being a collaborator.
Tue., Oct. 6, 7:30 p.m., 2009

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Michael Fox

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