Sep 14

Alligator-Horses DVD Now Available!

Alligator-Horses DVD cover design by Carlos Hernandez

You have heard of Davy Crockett, “King of the Wild Frontier.” Alligator-Horses tells the story of David Crockett, the U.S. congressman who, years before his famous stand at the Alamo, campaigned against Andrew Jackson and fought for the cause of the poor in West Tennessee.

Alligator-Horses, a feature-length documentary film by Brian Huberman and Ed Hugetz, presents a vivid collage of stories and interviews with scholars and historians that reveal the 1830s as a pivotal decade in American history, when a growing underclass first began to struggle against the invisible grip of the “aristocracy” and emerging industrial capitalism.

Retracing Crockett’s political tour of the Northeast and examining the comic almanacs that first popularized him as an urban working class hero, the film recounts lesser known events from the “Age of Jackson,” including early labor strikes organized by women, the rise of the blackface minstrel show, anti-abolitionist riots in New York, and the scandalous murder of a prostitute that evolved into something like an O.J. Simpson trial of its time.

In our present decade, the “Occupy” movement speaks out against man-made forces that create income inequality and secure the status of the “one percent.” Alligator-Horses argues such a division has been present in America for almost 200 years, since a time when the national identity was in the midst of an ornery, anarchistic adolescence.

This experimental documentary, 14 years in the making, may look at a small slice of the American story. But in its weave of past materials into the present, it gives us a larger scope through which to examine history—and, by extension, ourselves.

FILM INTERVIEWS INCLUDE: social historian Eric Lott; New York Times bestselling author David Shields; cultural critic and historian Richard Slotkin; professor emerita of History, American Culture, and Women’s Studies, Carroll Smith-Rosenberg; historian, author and former New York firefighter Capt. William Groneman…and many more.


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Feb 14

Alligator-Horses: New Documentary Film Premieres In Houston

Alligator-Horses Brian Huberman documentaryA film nearly 15 years in the making, Alligator-Horses is an epic documentary film about 1830s America and the lesser known events from the period that continue to influence our national identity today.

Download full press release.

Don’t miss the premiere which, in addition to a film screening, features a public discussion with the filmmakers, Brian Huberman and Ed Hugetz, and interviewees from the film: author David Shields and scholar Carroll Smith-Rosenberg.

RSVP on Facebook (optional).

Film poster designed by Carlos Hernandez 

Film screening & reception: 6:00 p.m., March 21, 2014 @ Rice Media Center

Conference: 9:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m., March 22, 2014 (same location)

All events are free and open to the public.

Dec 13

Alligator-Horses Premieres March 21

Alligator Horses Conference

Join us for the premiere of Alligator-Horses at Rice Media Center on Friday, March 21, 2014 (6-10pm). The film screening will be followed by a reception. And on Saturday, March 22 (9am-4pm), invited scholars and members of Rice faculty will discuss the film.

Alligator-Horses is a documentary about the so-called raunchy youth of 1830s America viewed through the lens of the first decade of the twenty-first century. Materials used to evoke our perspective of the time period include Penny Press newspapers, Davy Crockett Almanacs, Blackface minstrel songs and a cast of contemporary scholars including Rice Faculty and students. The three-hour documentary is structured around famous and lesser-known events, including King Phillip’s War, Davy Crockett’s tour of the northeast, the murder of New York prostitute Helen Jewett, Jim Crow at the Bowery Theater and the Anti-Abolition riots of 1834.

If you are interested in attending the film screening and conference, please RSVP via our contact form.

Sep 13

“Geronimo Is Out!” See It At East Austin Studio Tour

Brian will show excerpts from his film Geronimo‘s Country (still in progress) at this upcoming art installation. If you’re in Austin in November, hope you’ll get a chance to stop in and see it. Full show details below:

November 16-17 & 23-24; East Austin Studio Tour 2013

“Geronimo is out!” is a ceramic sculpture work in two parts presented by Cynthia Ann Lost Howling Wolf at Big Medium’s 12th East Austin Studio Tour.

Part one, “The Last Hold Out Band,” is a stoneware collection of twenty-one individual figures (detail, shown above) representing Geronimo and his Chiricahua Apaches following their surrender to the US Army in 1886.

Skull Duggery by Cynthia Ann Lost Howling Wolf

Part two, “Skull-duggery”, includes more than thirty raku and pit fired skulls and masks as a reminder of the theft of Geronimo’s remains by the Yale University-based Skull & Bones Society.

Cynthia Ann Lost Howling Wolf, artist/sculptor

Cynthia Ann Lost Howling Wolf is a Yaqui/Apache Indian artist based in Texas. “Geronimo” is the culmination of several years reflecting on the Apaches and the themes of captivity and loss.

“Geronimo is out!’ will be exhibited  November 16-17 and November 23-24 at Cobra Studios, 902 Gardner Road, unit #14, Austin, Texas. Part of the East Austin Studio Tour (EAST). Visit the tour website at: eastaustinstudiotour.com

Contact the artist at duke@rice.edu

Mar 13

RIP Thomas McEvilley (Mc-Evil-Eye)

 Photo taken at Bellefontaine in 2003 or 2004. Pose was inspired by a photo of the outlaws Jesse & Frank James although I think Doc Holiday a better fit for McEvilley. Like the famous dentist/ sportin' man, McEvilley never compromised his life style and like Holiday he died in bed...no bullets in his back.Above: Photo taken in Houston, TX, 2003 or 2004. Pose inspired by a photo of the outlaws Jesse & Frank James although I think Doc Holiday a better fit for McEvilley. Like the famous dentist/sportin’ man, McEvilley never compromised his life style and like Holiday he died in bed…no bullets in his back.

A lot of fuss. Many words to remind us of a man of words. McEvilley’s dead but it’s the man I’m remembering, not the words.

Tuesday nights teaching class at Rice. Art & the Mind. Always late. Coffee cups (two of them) loaded. Slide trays jamming. It’s the history of everything he whispered. It was and is because I filmed all his lectures. Forty-two hours of talking, drinking and challenging his audience to join his fierce quest on the edge. “Is this our glory or is it our doom?” he says finally about western civilization. The cups are empty, the lights are dim, the work is done.

[Below, a montage of footage originally composed as a tribute in honor of Thomas McEvilley’s retirement from teaching at Rice University. Film by Brian Huberman.]

Mc-Evil Eye from Brian Huberman on Vimeo.