Portrait of Ramona
(1971, 16mm, Color, Sound, 25min.)
This movie was made mostly in Brooklyn during some very hot and empty evenings. Since the evenings were so empty, Jane Elford, the star, urged me to get started making another movie (we had completed PAGAN RHAPSODY the year before). I said "okay," and launched her in a photographed series of telephone calls, not really knowing who was going to be on the other end. I was interested at the time in irrational, neurotic responses and so the heroine was put into unstable situations that I dreamt up because I was making a movie with a plot and there should be some action .... Many of the stars appear nude and all I can say is that because of the heat and the general, overall feeling of the film which is one of the usual desperation and explosive emotions, I couldn't see any other way of them playing it. The general tone of everything was ... "Why even bother to get dressed?"
The end result is (to me) a rather happy blend of cramped, dark apartments, pumpkin orange people and a lot of music. I sing the vocal to the PORTRAIT OF RAMONA theme at the end and it's rather frightening but I only meant to sing it with some gusto ... not in the way it turned out: like the final screams of a species doomed to extinction.