4 x Fessenden

Dir. Larry Fessenden (1979-81 30 mins, s8mm, Shorts)

These four first films introduce all the concerns, aesthetic and thematic, that haunt Fessenden’s subsequent films.

THE ELIMINATOR(1979, 4 mins, S8mm, color) Fessenden’s first film features a steel blue ’67 Firebird, and its unseen driver, out for a test drive and a run-in with an innocent cyclist.

THE FIELD (1980, 7 mins, S8mm, color) A hangover-induced maudlin bit of film poetry made remarkable by a live flute accompaniment by Geoffrey Kidde, who later would make music for HABIT.

WHITE TRASH (1980, 7 mins, s8mm, color) A murder by conch-shell is followed by a stiff drink and the dismemberment of the body, leaving us to ponder: what stories lie hidden in our street trash. Restaged in 1993 for the opening sequence of RIVER OF GRASS.

LIFELINE (1981, 13 ins, S8mm, b&w and color) A concise history of “man,” from the discovery of fire to the bomb. With Fessenden as the enterprising species.


Larry Fessenden – This genre icon and independent filmmaking mogul, jump started his career with a variety of film shorts. Eventually moving on to directing cult classic feature films such as Habit (1997), The Last Winter (2006) and Beneath (2013)