Calvin Black was a folk artist who lived in California's Mojave Desert and created more than 80 life-size female dolls, each with its own personality, function, and costume. He also built the "Bird Cage Theater," where the dolls perform and sing in voices recorded by the artist. The film works on two levels. One is the documentation of the artist's legacy and commentary on women: grotesque female figures moving in the desert wind and the theater with its frozen "actresses," protected by his widow from a world she views as hostile. The other is the re-creation of the artist's vision through the magic of film, as the camera enables the dolls to move and sing and brings theater to life as the artist imagined it. To order this film and the entire Visions of Paradise collection on DVD, please contact the filmmakers or click on the "Buy This" button.
"...if I had a real woman set down by me and let me look her in the face and wouldn't get tired of me looking at a nose and a eyebrow...I could carve a doll that could make her ring a bell...it's just here in my head to pick out what kinda face I want on that doll..."
* American Film Festival*
* Mannheim Film Festival*
Photo by Tim Brehm
This rare Calvin Black doll recently sold at auction for a record $80,000
260 Arbor St. San Francisco, CA 94131 415-584-3521