RTV: Henry Hills

Release Date: Saturday, May 8, 2010

In this RTV episode, Roulette sits down to talk about two of the best well-known works by an experimental filmmaker, Henry Hills: “Money” and “Little Lieutenant.”

“Money” is a rhythmically-edited montage, which consists of speech and poetic fragments such as single words, sighs, and other on-the-street exclamations from many artists, intercut with pointed musical and dance gestures. Added together, these accents (“maybe 5000 cuts”) form a stunning essay on capitalist anxieties. “Little Lieutenant” is a dance/music video to music by John Zorn, a sequence of live movements against rear-screen projection evoking a pre-WWII mythos: drunken bar scenes, wild cartoonish fantasies, stealthy night and spy moves, bombing, and the eventual armed conflict. In his interview, Hills discusses the method of shooting and editing his short but dense 16mm films, his influences from literature and music, and the sense of time in his films compared to that in standard Hollywood films.

Aired on RTV: 2002
Performance date: 11/30/1984
Episode release date: 05/08/2010
Host: Phoebe Legere
Produced by Jim Staley
Directed by Matt Mehlan


Henry Hills has been making dense, intensely rhythmic experimental films since 1975. A longtime resident of New York’s East Village, he has ongoing working relationships with the L=A=N=G=U=A=G=E Poets, composer John Zorn, and choreographer Sally Silvers. Since 2005 he has been Visiting Professor at FAMU, the Czech national film academy in Prague, and currently lives in Vienna. He received a 2009 John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Fellowship & his films, which are included in the permanent collection of the Museum of Modern Art, are available on DVD from Tzadik (tzadik.com). His most recent work, “arcana”, was awarded Best Experimental Film at both Curtas Vila do Conde festival in Portugal and the Melbourne International Film Festival in Australia. His films, with an eccentric humor, seek abstraction within sharply-focused naturalistic imagery and the ethereal within the mundane, promoting an active attentiveness through a relentlessly concentrated montage.