Services for Andy Anderson will be held Saturday. The long-time filmmaker and UT-Arlington professor died earlier this month. He was 70.
Bart Weiss, head of Video Association of Dallas, was a long-time colleague and friend of Anderson’s. Long ago, he made this short for KERA’s “Deep in the Arts” series. It gives a great picture of Anderson’s films.
In the short piece, Anderson sums up his approach to his career: “I make the films I want to make, by choice. I know I’ll never be rich. I also know I’ll never be tall. But I have to keep doing it. It’s what I do. I’m a junkyard dog.”
In an appreciation for Dallas Morning News, Weiss wrote:
“Andy had a mind that did not stop. He did not sleep very much. He had what he called the 3-dimensional chess mind. I came to figure out that every conversation with him, he had already figured out what I was going to say, and had an answer.
Andy was always giving of his time his expertise his critiques and just stuff. If you mentioned that you needed a cable or well almost anything, the next day I would find it on my desk. He did the same for so many students. One needed some lights and they appeared; another, a mic. He would never accept fees or honoraria, always insisting the money go back to the organization inviting him.”
The Star-Telegram’s Robert Philpot wrote a thorough account of Anderson’s career. His films could be unconventional.
“His most unusual, “Drive By Shooting,” was released in 1994: It’s a documentary that consists of a narrator reading police reports off-camera while Anderson drives by Fort Worth locations where the crimes occurred, pointing his camera at them.
More than 600 crimes are listed in the two-hour film, roughly the rate they were occurring in real life at the time. The movie isn’t meant to be watched from start to finish — when it first played at the Dallas Video Festival, it was on a continuous loop, so that festival-goers could watch for a few minutes then come back later and find out about different crimes.”
“Ritual” was a disturbing work. There’s a clip from it in the Deep in the Arts segment above. A woman rigs a knife to a door and points it at her stomach. It’s clear that if the door opens, she’ll be stabbed. As Weiss noted, “It’s a film that you cannot get out of your mind, years later. Andy pushed us in these ways, showed us places we might not want to go, but show us something in our self.”