Nicolas Jaar in Conversation with Lydia Lunch
Lydia Lunch has defined the underground music and art scene for over thirty years. Predictable only in her unpredictability, she has exploited every creative outlet at her disposal, from film to books, photography to poetry. —San Francisco Weekly
Lydia Lunch traffics in the reality behind the reality. Think of the Situationists, or Henry Miller, or Duchamp’s final masterpiece, Etant Donné….Like Duchamp, Lunch has created that secret, eroto-violent universe spied through the keyhole to which she alone holds the key. — Jerry Stahl
HOW IT BEGAN
I've known and worked with Lydia Lunch since she was 19 and I was 23. We grew up in the late '70s New York music/film/art scene and brought our radical visions to the underground where we broke boundaries, both shocking and enticing our audiences with our uncensored music and films. Fast forward to several months ago, as I watched the ever brash and luminous Lydia Lunch performing with her extraordinary band, RETROVIRUS, I realized that I needed to make the definitive documentary, LYDIA LUNCH The War is Never Over.
No Wave legend, and confrontationist, Lydia has changed and influenced the world around her and continues to be at the forefront of psycho-sexual transgressive music and spoken word performance. I hope you will join me on this journey that will take us into the conscious and unconscious depths of her wide ranging issues from patriarchy to sexuality and the brutality of war with rare emotional honesty and intimacy.
Lydia Lunch (1978)
ABOUT THE FILM
The feature documentary, LYDIA LUNCH The War is Never Over, will voice and visualize the extraordinary, outrageous work and life of spoken word artist and singer, Lydia Lunch. We will follow her on the road back to her hometown of Rochester, on tour, backstage, and in interviews revealing the radical mind, the visceral music, and the edgy, philosophical, and humorous personality of Lunch.
We have already filmed a major interview with Lydia at the Roxy Hotel as well as with 26-year-old Nicolas Jaar, music producer and DJ. Influenced by Lydia's music at age 10, Nico went on to collaborate with her on a new mix of Lunch's seminal spoken word piece, Conspiracy of Women. We also interviewed Bibbe Hansen of Warhol fame who, with the encouragement of Lydia, has now written hundreds of pages of her memoirs from her wild child times. Not only is this film about Lydia Lunch, but the scene that she continues to grow and influence; creative people throughout the world who join Lydia to break the rules with purpose and vision.
A little background for the uninitiated! In 1976 at age sixteen, teenage runaway and autodidact Lydia Lunch arrived in New York inspired by the ravings of Lester Bangs in Creem Magazine, the Velvet Underground’s sarcastic wit, the glamour of the New York Dolls, and the poetic scat of Patti Smith’s Piss Factory. In 1977, she founded the hugely influential No Wave band, Teenage Jesus and the Jerks.
This is when I first witnessed Lydia onstage and she has been an inspiration to me ever since. She was singing/screaming poetry in the most menacing and brutal style, inhabiting a new way of envisioning "woman." She awakened the angst and alienation of that time. I got up my nerve and asked her to act in the cult classic, Black Box. Clad in black leather mini-skirt, spiked heels, and screaming, "Shut up and Suffer," Lydia made cinematic history.
In early 1978, artist and producer Brian Eno attended a series of shows at Artist's Space and produced No New York, an anthology LP featuring the four strongest bands—Teenage Jesus and the Jerks, The Contortions, Mars and DNA. The recording remains as one of the most influential—and extraordinarily bold—debuts of the time.
Lunch has released more than 30 albums and played with countless influential bands.
- Teenage Jesus and the Jerks
- 8-Eyed Spy
- Shotgun Wedding
- Big Sexy Noise
- Cypress Grove
- Medusa’s Bed
Throughout her career Lunch has defied categorization and actively conquered new territories—gaining international recognition for the innovative quality of her work.
HOW WE WILL USE YOUR MONEY
LYDIA LUNCH The War is Never Over has begun production. We have shot in-depth interviews with Lydia Lunch, musician Nicolas Jaar, and writer Bibbe Hansen. We have filmed some live performances. A truly extraordinary one was just this past weekend, March 4, 2017, at HOWL! Happening. Lydia was on fire and she lit up the audience with the fierce and insightful words that emanated from her entire being. Very inspiring!
Right now, we need to raise at least $50,000 to film Lydia on tour with her band, RETROVIRUS, performing her spoken word as well as interviewing pivotal people in Lydia’s life.
- Weasel Walter
- Thurston Moore
- Ron Athey
- Jim Sclavunos
- Donita Sparks
- JG Thirlwell
- Jerry Stahl
These interviews will provide an audio bed of stories in a fast-cutting After Effects timeline of Lydia’s life with the architectural landscape of New York City circa 1977 to the present. This will not only be wildly entertaining, but for the first time, give viewers an insider's look at the scene Lydia hails from.
Ultimately, the film will frame Lunch’s music and performance through the lens of the various philosophical themes that have obsessed her for years: sex, violence, drugs, deviance, porn, feminism, misogyny, lust and love...a rule breaker not easily defined and never constrained!
Give what you can and be part of the reemergence of underground filmmaking!
A SENSE OF URGENCY
We need every one of you to help make this a reality. No contribution is too small. And the rewards are great! But, the biggest reward is the impact we all will have on the culture. We hope LYDIA LUNCH The War is Never Over, with its wit, honesty, balls out, mouth open attitude, will help us all to kick the ball forward, toward a future in which we truly have liberation of the mind and body and a new sense of healing from trauma.
SPREAD THE WORD
Word of mouth is how we’re going to build our audience. Please email, Facebook, Instagram, Tweet…even pick up the phone!
I grew up in the New York underground film scene before indie filmmaking was even a phrase. We were idealists who were going to buck the system by making DIY confrontational films, uncensored and uncompromising. I've been doing it for 40 years and my approach to this film continues the rebel independent tradition. I'm working with Kickstarter because it is truly a platform that put the power back into the hands of the creator and the audience. This film needs to be made and as an idealist, I know there are those like-minded people out there who want to see it as well. There is an urgency to tell these stories! We aren't getting any younger!
xox Beth B
*** NEW REWARDS FOR THE FINAL DAYS OF THE CAMPAIGN ***
PLEDGE $700 - EXCLUSIVE - IDA APPLEBROOG ORIGINAL PRINT - Thank you, Mr. President. 14" x 11" - Signed by Ida Applebroog + FILM
PLEDGE $65 - LYDIA LUNCH WIDOWSPEAK MAGNUM 45 POSTER + FILM
PLEDGE $150 - RARE - Day of Hope Newspaper by Beth B with Lydia Lunch, Annie Sprinkle and other art luminaries. 1991 + Film
PLEDGE $175 - SET OF 3 - LYDIA LUNCH POSTERS - Pictured: SICK WITH DESIRE (Also includes YOU ARE NOT SAFE and THE SCENE OF THE CRIME COULD BE ANYWHERE AT ANY TIME)
PLEDGE $80 - My Lover the Killer Vinyl + Film
PLEDGE $75 - Lydia Lunch Cyprus Grove Vinyl + Film
PLEDGE $45 - Honeymoon in Red Vinyl + Film
PLEDGE $40 - Lydia Lunch & Weasel Walter, Brutal Measures CD + Film
PLEDGE $40 - Lydia Lunch RETROVIRUS, Urge to Kill CD + Film
PLEDGE $50 - DVD of Beth B's CALL HER APPLEBROOG (2016) + Lydia Lunch Film
PLEDGE $55 - DVD of Beth B's early films + Lydia Lunch Film
PLEDGE $55 - Unique Music Video Compilation, courtesy of Elise Passavant
PLEDGE $60 - NUDES book, Mix & Match, signed by Beth B (41 PAGES) + FILM
PLEDGE $60 - Lydia Lunch Poster + Voyeur Poster + Lydia Lunch Film
PLEDGE $75 - TWIST OF FATE BOX SET + FILM
PLEDGE $85- RARE - BLACK BOX POSTER, From Lydia's personal collection + FILM POSTER + FILM
PLEDGE $100 - RARE - VINYL - PRE TEENAGE JESUS with Lydia Lunch and James Chance + FILM
PLEDGE $125 - RARE -TIMES SQUARE ART SHOW POSTER 20 x 26 + FILM
PLEDGE $175 - LYDIA LUNCH Taste Our Voodoo Limited Edition Box + Film
PLEDGE $200 - Lydia Lunch 16" x 20" photo from her series, "The War is Never Over," signed by Lydia Lunch + FILM
PLEDGE $325 - 8" x 10" B&W print of Lydia Lunch by Beth B, signed by Beth B + Lydia Lunch Signed Film Poster + Lydia Lunch Film
PLEDGE $250 - RARE - Lydia Lunch & Exene Cervenka "Rude Hieroglyphics" Poster + FILM
PLEDGE $200 - ULTRA RARE - 30" x 42" VORTEX poster 1982 from Lydia's private collection + FILM.
PLEDGE $375 - 8" x 10" color print of Lydia Lunch by Beth B, signed by Beth B + Lydia Lunch Signed Film Poster + Lydia Lunch Film
PLEDGE $1700 - VOYEUR 9 - Photo by Beth B 2017, 24" x 35", Archival Pigment Print + FILM
PLEDGE $2000 - VOYEUR 7 - Photo by Beth B 2017, 23" X 35", Archival Pigment Print + FILM
PLEDGE $2500 - VOYEUR 6 - Photo by Beth B 2017, 49" x 65", Archival Pigment Print + FILM
PLEDGE $5000 - VOYEUR 1 - Photo by Beth B 2017, 59" x 86", Archival Pigment Print + FILM
PLEDGE $5000 - VOYEUR 2 - Photo by Beth B 2017, 59" x 86", Archival Pigment Print + FILM
Risks and challenges
The great news is that we have begun production on the film and prior Beth B films have received critical acclaim and screenings at film festivals and theaters worldwide. With your support we will be able to pay for the first phase, which will cover the production costs and then be poised for post and finishing. With my track record, there is no doubt that we will be able to raise post-production and finishing funds and release the film.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter