|Manhattan's Anthology Film Archives: My gateway to the 10th Dimension?|
Well, folks, I guess there is going to be an "Ed Wood Wednesdays" column this week after all, but it's not the typical sort of heavily-researched, carefully-constructed piece I usually do for this series. Instead, while the memories were still semi-fresh in my brain, I wanted to record some thoughts and feelings about attending the penultimate night of The 10th Dimension: Edward D. Wood, Jr., a week-long retrospective currently running at Manhattan's Anthology Film Archives (AFA). The AFA is not your typical movie theater. Instead, it's a nonprofit center for the preservation and exhibition of offbeat and rare films. As its name suggests, in addition to holding screenings, the AFA is also a vast storehouse of films and videos, preserving these artifacts for future audiences. This year, in addition to a slew of other programs, the center decided to honor the work of Edward D. Wood, Jr. They've shown films both famous (Plan 9 from Outer Space) and obscure (Nympho Cycler) from Ed's entire career, with selections from the 1950s, 1960s, and 1970s. Tonight, Wednesday, September 17, was a very special show -- the linchpin of the entire festival, in fact -- because it was an assortment of rarities hosted by Rudolph Grey, author of Nightmare of Ecstasy: The Life and Art of Edward D. Wood, Jr. (1992). In order to give this article some semblance of structure, I'll break down my reflections by sub-topics.