Henry Hills

Experimental Filmmaker

Henry Hills

Naked City Videos

Babyface Nelson CorpseJohn Dillinger CorpseMachine Gun RunnerWeeGeeWeeGee RecreationWeeGee Recreation 2

Gotham is a music video commissioned by Elektra Records to the Naked City song “Batman”. Naked City is John Zorn (alto), Bill Frisell (guitar), Wayne Horvitz (keyboards), Fred Frith (bass), Joey Baron (drums), and Yamatsuka Eye (vocals). Taking the band’s name and first album cover as a clue, I drew heavily on themes in WeeGee’s photographs (his major collection, Naked City, inspired the title of Jules Dassin’s great 50’s film noir classic which inspired the TV show of the same name, of which I obtained and employed a portion of an episode), recreating many of his pictures in their actual Lower East Side/Little Italy locations (a rare home movie shot of WeeGee--smoking a cigar--is also included.) I shot much of the footage on grainy 4X and transferred off a workprint which I intentionally scratched up, to give an archival appearance. I also included some archival footage (special thanks to Bill McCahey), both Hollywood gangster movie outtakes and documentary excerpts (including actual morgue shots of John Dillinger--note the fly buzzing around his nose--and Baby-Face Nelson--with the police pointing out the fatal gunshot entry points.)

Igneous Ejaculation, my second Naked City video, was made as a gift to John Zorn who felt that Elektra’s choice of a song to represent the group was too conservative. This was during his hardcore period and I wanted to give him something hardcore. Starring Desireé Cousteau in her most overflowing performance. Named one of the Ten Best Films of the Year (1995) by the San Francisco Bay Guardian.

Osaka Bondage was conceived and commissioned by John Zorn as the second Naked City video. Composed from imagery from Zorn’s extensive “Roman Porn” video collection, it presents a violent thrash video version of Hell to counterpose the Bali vision of Heaven.

Photos

Babyface Nelson Corpse
John Dillinger Corpse
Machine Gun Runner
WeeGee
WeeGee Recreation
WeeGee Recreation 2