Fred Baker, 1933 - 2011

David Hudson

"Fred Baker, a filmmaker, actor, director, screenwriter and jazz musician, died of natural causes on June 5 in New York City," reports Variety. "He was 78. Baker was among the subversive, experimental, underground filmmakers of the 1960s and 70s, turning out films such as Events, The Murder of Fred Hampton and 1992's White Trash. He was an uncredited exec producer on Gillo Pontecorvo's 1966 classic The Battle of Algiers. A longtime friend of comedian Lenny Bruce, Baker was best known for his 1972 documentary Lenny Bruce Without Tears."

Fred Baker Film & Video Co, founded in the 70s, acquired and distributed such films as David Lynch's Eraserhead, Luchino Visconti's The Innocent, Marco Ferreri's Tales of Ordinary Madness and Jean Charles Tacchella's Cousin Cousine. In October 2010, Baker launched a blog called Slink where he began posting chapters of a "non-fiction novel," Balls... life's secret scenarios — and it's quite a read. In the most recent entry, posted on April 25 of this year, he spells out in lively detail the role his alter-ego, Fritz, played in establishing the ritual of the midnight movie back in the early 70s, or in other words, co-founding an entire subculture.

Viewing (58'19"). Harold Channer interviewed Baker back in early 2009.

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