SILVERDOCS: ‘A Brief History of John Baldessari’ and ‘Brute Force’ by Bari Biern

A Brief History of John Baldessari (USA) 6 minutes

In slightly more time than it takes to read this review, you can learn an impressive amount of knowledge about American artist, John Baldessari.

Co-Directors Henry Joost and Ariel Schulman* have created a 5 1/2-minute montage of facts, figures and images as well as pithy observations from the artist himself. The film, narrated by Tom Waits, is fast, funny and chock full of fascinating tidbits about Baldessari’s work, personality and height!

This is truly a short for the internet age, illustrating just how much information we can absorb in a thimbleful of time.

*In the interest of full disclosure, Ariel Schulman and I are cousins.  Would I admire the movie as much if we weren’t related?  Absolutely.

John Baldessari

Purchase tickets here:
Shorts Program 1:  Arts and Crafts
Wednesday, June 20 4:00pm

Brute Force (USA) 15 minutes

You’ve probably never heard of Brute Force and, frankly, he’s pissed off about it. In 1969, he wrote and recorded a single, The King of Fuh, which George Harrison (yes, that George Harrison) produced under the aegis of The Beatles’ recording company, Apple. Just as the emerging artist is about to see his career take off, Capitol Records refuses to distribute the record and Brute Force sinks into obscurity – but that’s not the end of the story. With  the re-issue of his 1967 album, I, Brute Force-Confections of Love, Brute Force (aka Stephen Friedland) is back and, this time, he’s got his daughter with him. You’ll enjoy this quirky touching short by Ben Steinbauer.

Purchase tickets here:
Shorts Program 1: Arts and Crafts
Wednesday, June 20 4:00pm

Brute Force

Passes and ticketing.


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Bari Biern
Bari Biern is an actress/playwright/lyricist whose first musical, 'A Dance Against Darkness: Living with AIDS' (with composer Roy Barber) was nominated for Helen Hayes Awards as Outstanding New Play and Outstanding Resident Musical. She wrote the lyrics for 'Riddle Me a Prince,' a children’s musical which premiered at Imagination Stage, with book by Ernie Joselovitz and Harry Bagdasian, and music by Emmy Award winner, Lenny Williams. She contributes lyrics to the political satire troupe, the Capitol Steps, and has been performing with them since 1993. Bari was the lyricist for the critically-acclaimed In Series production of 'The Marriage of Figaro: Las Vegas Version.' That opera (with dialogue by Elizabeth Pringle) was presented by Philadelphia’s Poor Richard’s Opera Company as part of the 2010 Philly Fringe Festival. Poor Richard’s also presented 'Gianni Schicchi,' featuring Bari’s English libretto. In 2011, Bari was the librettist for WAM2, a co-production of the In Series and the Washington Ballet. She also wrote the script for the In Series’ 'Arlen Blues & Berlin Ballads,' which premiered earlier this year. Bari has reviewed theatre and film in the DC area for WAMU-FM’s Metro Connection.


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