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26 Ratings

Uncle Howard

Directed by Aaron Brookner
United States, United Kingdom, 2016
Documentary, Biography, LGBTQ+


An intertwining tale of past and present, the story of filmmaker Howard Brookner whose work captured the late 70s and early 80s cultural revolution – and his nephew’s personal journey 25 years later to discover his uncle’s films.

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Uncle Howard Directed by Aaron Brookner
Inevitably most viewers will find the documentary more engaging as a touchstone for a particular social-cultural history than as a portrait of one individual. But the accounts of Howard Brookner’s worsening health by Brad Gooch and James Grauerholz – and by Howard himself in a rediscovered video diary – are genuinely touching too.
December 02, 2016
An invaluable and extremely moving mosaic of personal, cultural, and social history… It is also a tribute to Howard’s energy and to a wildly improvisatory cultural moment when Beat, punk, and Minimalist aesthetics merged in New York No Wave. When people ask what New York was like in the ‘60s, I always send them to Jonas Mekas’s Walden: Diaries, Notes & Sketches (1969). For a glimpse of what followed, even as New York was supposedly a wasteland, no better place to start than Uncle Howard.
November 27, 2016
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Aaron speaks affectingly, in voice-over, of his childhood memories of his uncle, and how they inspired him to become a filmmaker. While the movie has scintillating glimpses of such ‘80s New York luminaries as Madonna, Patti Smith and Laurie Anderson, it’s less a nostalgic evocation than a dual portrait of two intertwined artists, one gone too soon, the other just hitting his stride.
November 17, 2016
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