Tuesday, October 4, 2022 at 7:30pm
Jeff Kreines's The Plaint of Steve Kreines as Recorded by His Younger Brother Jeff

361 Stagg Street, Suite 407, Brooklyn

Introduced by Kelly Reichardt

The Plaint of Steve Kreines as Recorded by His Younger Brother Jeff, Jeff Kreines, 1974, digital projection, 47 mins

For this evening’s screening we’ll be hosting a rare presentation of Jeff Kreines’s The Plaint of Steve Kreines as Recorded by His Younger Brother Jeff, introduced by new Light Industry board member Kelly Reichardt and seen in a fresh restoration. Though Kreines is best known for works like Seventeen (1983, with Joel DeMott), one of the great chronicles of American adolescence, here we see the first glimpses of his approach to non-fiction cinema.

Jeff Kreines dropped out of high school at sixteen to devote himself fully to filmmaking. He collaborated on several projects with legendary Chicago auteur Tom Palazzolo while surviving on various odd jobs, including a gig as Stan Brakhage’s projectionist at the School of the Art Institute. Kreines then found work at the MIT Film Section, a kind of laboratory for cinéma vérité where Ricky Leacock and Ed Pincus were teaching. The summer before he moved, he shot Plaint, which he edited at MIT.

Plaint was shot before equipment existed that let a filmmaker shoot and record sound solo—so Kreines had to improvise. “All of the family stuff I shot and recorded sound by myself, with an Auricon on my shoulder, a big Nagra around my waist, and a shotgun mic in my left hand—partly because I had no one available to take sound, and also because I didn’t want an outsider to disturb the sometimes tense, sometimes hilarious negotiations.”

Plaint’s subject is straightforward: Kreines’s brother Steve, then twenty-two, buys a new car, starts a new job, and rents a new apartment, moving out of his parents’ house in suburban Chicago. Yet the film’s concerns are far from simple. Plaint has the intimacy of a home movie; in its exchanges we encounter the low hum of middle-class alienation and generational division, as well as the subtle dynamics of family life, its comforts and its contradictions.

Screening with Kreines and Palazzolo’s Ricky and Rocky (1972, 15 mins).

Tickets - Pay what you can ($10 suggested donation), available at door, cash and cards accepted.

Please note: seating is limited. First-come, first-served. Box office opens at 7pm.