Thursday, September 30, 2010

Steven Jesse Bernstein

No No Man. Nice video of Steven Jesse Bernstein running around and goofing.

Hope to Live (1990)
I was editing late one night for my day job as a contract video producer when Seattle poet/songwriter Steven Jesse Bernstein called. It was shortly after we'd worked together on a video commissioned by Seattle's Center on Contemporary Art. He'd signed up for an epilepsy research program at a nearby hospital. It paid $50 a night. While there, he'd written a new song and wanted me to tape it before he forgot it. The only thing I had handy was a cheapo VHS camcorder. This is the result.

Party Balloon (a video collage that captures much of the sentiment)

Excerpt from new documentary 'I am Secretly and Important Man'
(Peter Sillen, Seattle, 2010, 85 min) Peter Sillen’s documentary portrait of the guru of grunge, Steven (Jesse) Bernstein undulates like a spoken-word performance. Known in the Seattle art and music scene as one of the most influential voices of the late twentieth century, Bernstein was a poet and performance artist who recorded with Sub Pop Records and inspired Kurt Cobain, Oliver Stone and many other writers, filmmakers and grunge and punk musicians. Bernstein performed stories and songs about society’s fringes—angry, tender and sometimes corrosively humorous portraits of drifters, junkies and ex-cons. His mentor, William Burroughs, said of his writing, “The work is deeply felt…Bernstein has been there and brought it back. Bernstein is a writer.” Join us for this special West Coast premiere of the film, screened at The Moore Theatre where Jesse once shared the stage with Burroughs.

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