April 20, 2017
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The YGroup Manifesto
by the YGroup
Rob Nilsson, organizer of YGroup, at home in North Berkeley; he also does regular biking, including a 70 miler on his 70th birthday. photo: D. Blair
This statement is published in tandem with the article '
The Way of Seeming
The needed revitalization of the American cinema begins with the human heart, the nervous system alive to tender and passionate human encounter. There can be no cinema outside the artist’s inner life... galvanized by intelligence, intuition and energy, glowing with memory, inspired by the desire to live fuller, richer, deeper.
The collaboration of artists... writers, directors, actors, cinematographers and craft people of all kinds is given shape and energy by the kinetic release of the inner fountain. No art is interesting without reference to the internal sources where our tragedies, comedies, low farces and ecstatic epiphanies are formed.
Whereas the pale and anemic truth that “all Art is political” has spawned legions of nodding heads in the exclusive pews of race, gender and class ... the living truth is that there can be no art without vision, no vision without emotional awakening, no emotional awakening without an umbilical to nature energy, no nature energy without high flying in the slipstream of spiritual intuition.
Originating in Shamanic practice, in the “wild surmises” of poets and sages who learned languages beyond the cosmic silence, this insight into our fears, agonies and misgivings is the reason and justification for Art.
There are many entertainers and their job is to help us forget, for a time, the conundrums of a universe without a kindly God, with no assurances of redemption, and no other visible destination than extinction of the personality and decay of the body.
But the Artist’s job is to look this Gordian knot in the face... and in the cauldrons of imagination and shape fashioning... to hammer out resistance to fate, acceptance of contradiction and to produce in the face of no hope... joy, the Barbaric Yawp, the on- going quest for courage at any cost.
The yGroup artist pledges to be alive in body and mind and to manifest the energies which bind us to universal force. We pledge ourselves as individuals to the communal circle of risk and protection where we reveal our secrets, power up our energy, open flesh and intuitive mind to received vision. We pledge to sing the songs of discovery handed down to us by ancestors who taught us above all.... to live with passion and to sing at the top of our lungs.
Signed, August 12, 1998
About the YGroup:
“Driving through the Tenderloin” and having a brother who was mentally ill, Nilsson told cineSOURCE in 2008, see
, “got me interested in making features right on the street." To test his thesis, he started the Tenderloin Action group, later moving it to the Faithful Fools Ministry, where it became the Tenderloin yGroup and included folks like the local amateur Gabriela Maltz Larkin, LA actor David Fine and many others. Their first film "Chalk" (2000) was voted one of the year’s top films by the Village Voice and they went on to make almost a dozen more "9 @ Night" features, so-called because that was when the class met.
Posted on Sep 16, 2016 - 06:01 PM