North Beach (1978) is a documentary of my neighborhood of three years. The lamp at the end of the alley between Molinari Delicatessen and Rossi Market (view from Caffe Roma) as christological numen mediating the Above and the Below.
North Beach 2 (1979) is a re-edited version of North Beach (the workprint and first answer print cut into 3000 pieces and reassembled according to a cutting score): more frenetic, more out-there, more ‘80s.
“It is interesting to note that this tendency toward design, so prominent in ’70s filmmakers like Hills, currently have connotations of hard-mindedness, rigorousness and even asceticism, whereas in other times such a preoccupation with pattern would more often than not be associated with mere decoration, hedonism, frivolousness and irrationalism.”
—Noel Carroll, Soho Weekly News
“North Beach is a beautiful film. The human race should stick around to enjoy it. It’s all cinema, all experience. No ‘problems,’ art in-jokes, other fashionable bluffing. Hills composes, orchestrates. The film’s a concentrate of rhythmic invention, solid work, shapely; gorgeous.”
Photo: The hills as Nestle’s Crunch.