on Bradley Eros' Solar Anus (2001), Museum of the Moving Image, and 9.5mm Film Stock

In the permanent installation of MoMI resides a light box. Within it, colorful film strips help illustrate the film projecting process to the unfamiliar, naive eye. By exposing the images in sequence on the strip, one can understand that when projected in quick succession, the trickery of movement occurs in our brains. A particular artifact that caught my eye was a small strip of 9.5mm film, donated by the one and only Bradley Eros. Having interned at Anthology Film Archives many years ago, I had the opportunity to be in Bradley's way many times over a summer. His eye-liner always stuck out to me, it didn't really compliment his face but who's to say what someone can and can’t do with their own image? He's a peculiar one because he also visited a class of mine; giving a lecture on a non-camera movie he made from strips of 1970s porno flicks superimposed with childish cartoons of Mickey and Minnie Mouse. He described the creation to us very simply: "I had no clue what to call it, and as I thought, the frame that was projected was of a warm sun, juxtaposed with the sight of a perfect asshole." The audience (my class) gasped from Bradley's off-color remark. "It was a perfect anus." He said. "And so I decided to name the film Solar Anus."

I'll never forget that story, of how Bradley was able to disgust a room full of people before lunchtime and easily leave without having to say another word. I draw a parallel from Bradley's remark and his super interesting persona to the rarity of the 9.5mm film stock he donated to the museum. Having not been commercially available since 1960, (you can still hardly acquire the format from dedicated enthusiasts who custom manufacture the stock) this rare strip of celluloid represents the same kind of rarity that is found within the spirit and soul of Bradley... as crazy as he may be. Symbolizing his auteurship in a way, a process I thought was absolutely fucking fascinating. The film strip object signifies that, like the film medium, these specific formats aren’t always made to last, that the process of filmmaking is ever evolving and that an encapsulation within a 9.5mm film frame can signify a whole lot more than the image it projects, but it seeks out an interpretation from within...