We are tired of having our artistic voices stifled by a lack of money, the constraints of the corporate format of length, genre elements, post-production costs, and name actors along with the politics of getting noticed. Like FOOD DONATIONS – we seek CINEMA TALENT AND EQUIPMENT DONATIONS with the creation of an ongoing community (physical and virtual) to perpetuate a shadow entity running parallel to Hollywood that will feel free to pursue radical political filmmaking and embody a horizontal organizational structure. As a rhizome we will branch out and ultimately converge with the mainstream.

We are an Autonomous Human Film Assembly comprised of citizens who want cinema to serve more than the spectacle. We want our projects to reflect the current material and political issues and their effect on everyday people’s lives through experimental narrative devices with no rules of restraint.  We have powerful feelings for life. We want to make films or video projects that convey the truth about this current reality no matter how painful or complex that may be.

For our assembly – there is no auteur, no elite wizard behind the curtain, no rich investor backing us out of some rebellious mid life crisis temptation.

We are you and you are us.

Our projects are copyright free, open source type ventures.  Everyone, including the actors will work on this for the love of the project and process. Everyone will be a producer. Everyone will try to bring something to the table. A shroud of purposeful mystery will surround the group as our projects will not exhibit credits.

And if a project happens to find its way by mistake into the circuits of exchange any “profits” will be equally distributed to each individual who worked on it.  The director will be a circus ringleader, not a CEO.

If all goes well – we intend to exhibit our first project within ‘events’ – such as guerilla gardening reclaiming space endeavors where we will exhibit it on abandoned buildings, at union shops, cine-clubs, film societies, universities, night clubs, drive-in theaters across the country and maybe even (underground) film festivals and house parties. This will be self-distributed and we will potentially consider offering this on our website for a suggested donation so that we can later fund additional projects.

Most cinema today is part of the spectacle. A way to divert revolutionary impulses within someone into a sedate, passive spectator/consumer of fictitious propaganda. Basically the spectacle is the relationship between people which is mediated by images. These images are the manifestation of concentrated capital, hiding its own obscelecence.

A majority of American independent films take place in a political vacuum and in order to maintain their cool edge and clever, hipster credibility, these films must go overboard with the depiction of eccentric and obscure behaviors or with purposely confusing fragmented editing that has absolutely no bearing on human material reality – no room for critical reflection. We are overwhelmed by ever evolving symbols without meaning.

Ironically, even if these films (like most) are dependent on creating archetypes, myths, or a stereotype – who does the audience try to emulate in life – or find a common kinship with? Of course, it is these characters/actors as portrayals of the life and troubles that we wish would befall us. We live in this predetermined boredom of manufactured consent in post-industrial society and the system creates “experiences” for us, tells us how to live, flaunts in our faces that we are losers unless we can acquire this or that. It’s a society for the winners, promoting unbridled competition and greed, division, anti-intellectualism, a hyper individualism that focuses on blaming oneself for problems with the only remedy being self-help books, authoritarian religion and/or pseudo-spiritual movements that attempt to focus people inwards at the expense of solidarity. All this leads to a lack of intimacy, especially during sexual encounters as everything is viewed within the realm of value and exchange. We are all commodities. Human futures.

It is near impossible within the current milieu to film authentic lives. What are authentic lives? What is the good life? Why have we lost our political consciousness and why is it so mediated on intrinsic identity alone?

If everything has been done before, then why are we still only filming literature and remaking previous banal television shows or ground breaking bourgeoisie films from 30 years ago?

The Autonomous Human Film Assembly will find amusement in destroying these various limitations imposed by the market system by utilizing the new democratizing opportunities of digital format and self-distribution mechanisms.

We applaud and nurture the excessive, pure, self-indulgent, poetic, anarchic, truly direct democratic forms of expression. We look forward to failing valiantly to achieve our goals.

Our influences are such groundbreaking, misunderstood, and much maligned titans as Dusan Makajayev, Guy Debord, Rene Vienet, Robert Bresson, Rainer Fassbinder, Werner Herzog, John Waters, Peter Watkins, Jean Luc Godard, Leos Carax, Alex Cox, Nagashi Oshima, John Cassavetes and Dziga Vertov.

3/20/09  – AHFA Communique #1


~ by figleafthemovie on March 21, 2009.


  1. Interesting, interesting…

    One thing confuses me: “If everything has been done before, then why are we still only filming literature and remaking previous banal television shows or ground breaking bourgeoisie films from 30 years ago?” Doesn’t the second half of that question answer the first part? Isn’t the remake a direct result of everything having been done before, choosing to find the safety in something that already worked once instead of an unproven new story?

    Oh, and what’s a “rhizome”?

    • Because in the spectacle – all art takes on a commodity relationship with humans as mere spectators, not agents of action. These films are made as disposable commodities and must reinforce the dominant commercial philosophies of the day (which really never change). It must recycle ideas in perpetuity to keep people bored and asleep and lacking in reflective, critical faculties towards their own emancipation. In addition, these industries have finally found a way to “game” the movie industry by creating profits through this repetition of “safety” as you mention and the use of NAME BRANDS (ACTORS) which are marketed perpetually through the spectacle. Industrial time has been imposed on humans. We are living on their time.

      The Autonomous Human Film Assembly seeks to destroy this safety and to dismantle the colonization of time made by capitalists! Our video and film projects will follow our own trajectory.

      A few tidbits:

      “The spectacle, considered as the reigning society’s method for paralyzing history and memory and for suppressing any history based on historical time, represents a false consciousness of time.”

      “Consumable pseudocyclical time is spectacular time, both in the narrow sense as time spent consuming images and in the broader sense as image of the consumption of time. The time spent consuming images (images which in turn serve to publicize all the other commodities) is both the particular terrain where the spectacle’s mechanisms are most fully implemented and the general goal that those mechanisms present, the focus and epitome of all particular consumptions. Thus, the time that modern society is constantly seeking to “save” by increasing transportation speeds or using packaged soups ends up being spent by the average American in watching television three to six hours a day. As for the social image of the consumption of time, it is exclusively dominated by leisure time and vacations — moments portrayed, like all spectacular commodities, at a distance and as desirable by definition. These commoditized moments are explicitly presented as moments of real life whose cyclical return we are supposed to look forward to. But all that is really happening is that the spectacle is displaying and reproducing itself at a higher level of intensity. What is presented as true life turns out to be merely a more truly spectacular life.”

      “The production process’s constant innovations are not echoed in consumption, which presents nothing but an expanded repetition of the past. Because dead labor continues to dominate living labor, in spectacular time the past continues to dominate the present.”

      – Guy Debord – SOCIETY OF THE SPECTACLE – – Charpter 6 – Spectacular Time

      A rhizome is a horizontal stem of a plant that is usually found underground, often sending out roots and shoots from its nodes. This is to symbolize the interconnective, heterogeneous network of the multitude, nonhierarchical and noncentered structure – any singular node within it must connect to another ever expanding. For example technological controls on people made by governments or corporations leave room for resistance through this decentralized network.

      – Francois

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