2003 - 2004 Season
Dinners with Andy (2004) is a 30-minute video by Vivian Demuth, offering a portrait of the poet Andy Clausen. It was shot around a dinner table in the New York City apartment of poets Demuth and Eliot Katz, who also appear in the film.
Of Clausen's poetry, Allen Ginsberg wrote: "The expensive bullshit of Government TV poetics suffers diminution of credibility placed side by side with Mr. Clausen's direct information and sad raw insight.... Andy Clausen's poetry a reading interest rare in poetry of any generation." Born in Belgium in 1943, Clausen was brought by his mother to live in Oakland, California at the age of 2. In the video, he describes his unique family life; his brief stint in the Marines; his various jobs, including work as a construction worker, cab driver, and teacher of poetry in schools and prisons; his growth into artistic and political consciousness; and his friendship with Beat Generation writers, including Allen Ginsberg, Janine Pommy Vega, Gregory Corso, and Neal Cassady.
His chief books have been: The Iron Curtain of Love (Long Shot, 1985), Without Doubt (Zeitgeist, 1991), and his selected verse of 30 years, 40th Century Man (Autonomedia, 1997).
Dinners with Andy was shot during several evenings of take-out pizza dinners. It attempts to provide a broad portrait of an artist's life, through conversations, as well as through selections of Clausen reading his poetry. Andy Clausen's is a memorable, colorful story, and this video will hopefully introduce the work of this important artist to a new and wider audience.
About the Videographer