The Continuing Story of Carel and Ferd (1970)

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Video Free America, began as Electric Eye in San Francisco in the late 1960s, was a collective of video artists who sponsored screenings, installations, and frequently collaborated in theatre productions. Their best-known piece remains The Continuing Story of Carel and Ferd, the precursor to documentaries like 7-Up and reality televisions shows like The Nineteen Hundred House. This video documentary follows a couple unlikely to appear on PBS today. Carel, a porn star and filmmaker, and her fiance Ferd, a junkie and bisexual, from their decision to marry through their alternative ceremony. The video opens with Carel, at a crossroads in her life, intent on giving up film and porn, because "expressing myself through film ruined my life. It became an obsession, a preoccupation, a neurosis." Paradoxically she gives up film by letting it in even further into her life, agreeing to be the subject of the documentary. Much of the video concerns the couple's many arguments, as they negotiate the terms of their marriage -- Ferd wants to kick but doesn't want to give up men -- which incorporate arguments about how the presence of the camera is effecting their actions. This hour long tape, produced in 1975, includes sections where Carel, Ferd, and director Ginsberg comment on the original video, the process of filming, and its relation to their current lives.