Sunday, 25 October 2009


Article originally published in The Pictures Issue 2

“I’m afraid I don’t consider myself a filmmaker, or anything specific for that matter.” Parisian Angélique Bosio does not like being tied to labels. Despite this, or perhaps because of it, she made one of our favourite documentaries of the past few years. Llik Your Idols tells the story of the Cinema of Transgression, a moment in New York time when artists like Richard Kern, Nick Zedd and Lydia Lunch came together to form a loose movement of extreme filmmakers, their work inspired by poverty, nihilism, sex and drugs. At the heart of the film are a series of interviews with the main protagonists of the scene in which they paint a vivid portrait of their lives and loves in squalor and talk openly about that fertile period when some of the most shocking, gruesome and salacious scenes ever seen in underground film were committed to Super 8. Angélique’s open, almost naïve interview technique allows her subjects the ability to reminisce freely and undirected where a more experienced and routined filmmaker may have prompted the opposite effect.

“To be honest, I started work in the cinema abut 10 years ago now,” explains the quiet, unassuming young réalisatrice, “because I knew what I did not want to do – namely to work in music labels, publishing companies, galleries, banks etc. I didn’t know a thing about cinema, or not enough, therefore I felt absolutely free.” But if making Llik Your Idols was a labour of freedom, it was a far from easy process. She worked on it in what little time remained outside of what she calls her “official job” for the best part of 5 years in a production process fraught with difficulties.

“I started in the summer of 2002 and finished it in July 2007, then it ran festivals. The whole thing started quickly. I decided to work on the project in the spring of 2002, wrote a few e-mails, got a few answers, booked some tickets. I wasn’t even sure I was to meet with these people with I booked the tickets, it had to happen, that’s all. Then I got lucky, somebody gave me 1000 Euros and I went to New York in August.”

Angélique flew to New York and conducted the official interviews, getting on with her subjects “quite well” and returning over the following years to revisit, ask more questions, or interview new subjects, slowly but surely completing the jigsaw of the finished film. She befriended Jack Sargeant, author of Deathtripping, the Creation Cinema book about the scene, and modelled for Richard Kern. But as the project grew, funding became an issue, and it was here that the difficulties began.

photo by richard kern

“I tried to work with different production companies that would stop the shooting, waiting for financial support from a French TV channel, which never came of course. So I would alternate periods of shooting and periods of waiting, patiently.” Production continued on blind faith, and editing commenced in 2006 “at home with Aurelie Cauchy. Then another production company, and the editing was stopped.” The stop-start production process was almost enough to curtail the project altogether, but again naïve optimism won through and the film was eventually finished in 2007, “with people I’d rather not talk about,” That wasn’t all. Even with a completed project to hand, securing a release proved difficult - “a production company tried to block everything and it was a mess for another whole year.”

Finally in late 2007 the film hit festivals, and now, two years later, the DVD is available in several territories, with the European edition available October 20th, a welcome pay-off for Angélique, and one that more than compensates for the time and finance put in. “I will never earn any money out of this documentary,” she says, “on the contrary, I have lost some. But I had to do it anyway. I was not motivated by money, I really needed to create something. I never hoped that I would sell it.”

The finished film has proved a deserving hit with critics and the audience it has so far found, owing in part to its openness and accessibility, and has achieved another of its aims (that it has in common with this zine), to bring these works to new audiences. Unlike many documentaries on the subject of underground film, which are often abstracted to the point of being avant garde themselves, Llik Your Idols needs no foreknowledge. “I hope I don’t make films for myself,” she says. “I have tried to make Llik Your Idols a documentary that could interest people who wouldn’t know a thing about this scene. The idea is to spread the word.”

It’s an attitude in the film that chimes with Angélique’s overall outlook towards the creative process, particularly when coming up against production obstacles or negotiating such dark subject matter, as she did in this documentary and her upcoming portrait of Bruce LaBruce. She approaches her work and stays motivated by “being stupid, dreamy and pretending to be naïve…do I sound like Cinderella?” As seen in Llik Your Idols, this naïve, questioning, curious presence wading through stories of bondage, torture and hard drug abuse is more Lewis Carroll’s Alice. You get the sense that this kind of investigation, of involvement, is why she prefers documentary to fiction.

“I don’t think fiction is a natural penchant of mine,” she confirms. “I have had one single valid idea for a short film but gave up too easily when told there was a feature film doing the same thing already. Documentary, [though], allows me to work with music, play with the edit, travel, get into funny situations, meet some people. I can be the control freak I truly am and follow the tide at the same time.”

Angel’s investigations are about to yield two more documentary features, partly the result of a productive (in total contrast to her past experience) partnership with independent producers and distributors Le Chat Qui Fume – “amazing people to work with” – who have given her as free a reign as possible in their production. The first chronicles the work of controversial gay porn-art filmmaker Bruce LaBruce, and the second follows French designer lingerie icon Fifi Chachnil.

“I would like to spend more time trying to learn photography after I have finished them I think,” referring again to her reluctance to be any one thing for long. You suspect though that, even in a different medium, Angélique’s inquisitive world view will shine through. Any investigation is about making connections, and Angélique’s films to date show this particularly, her subjects as pieces of a large and slowly emerging picture. Richard Kern or Fifi Chachnil, “to me there’s a link between all these people.” In the five years of making Llik Your Idols, she proved she has the patience and the curiosity to never stop looking.


Here are the two excellent finalists from our Sexploitation filmmaking contest, as shown at last week's birthday party - LOVE, ACTUALLY! by Tom Moore and The Story Of My Conception by Jack Barraclough.

LOVE, ACTUALLY! (click on the photo to view, it's the first video embeddded on Tom's page)

HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO US. A ton of thanks for everyone who came down to celebrate - next one is November 18th, hope to see you all there!

Thursday, 8 October 2009

His Name Is Jonas

(originally published in The Pictures zine Issue 1, mid 2008)

Since the 1950s, Jonas Mekas has lived the life of a film-maker, his ever present camera capturing every shade of the scenes he passes through, be they John Lennon's birthday party, Warhol's factory, late night cab journeys or walks in the park with a girl. In his diary films, Mekas brings out the poetry in living and shares with his audience the travels, thoughts and experiences of a man completely devoted to capturing the essence of life in moving images.

Over the decades Mekas has played a central role in the nurturing and development of underground, personal, experimental film - call it what you will. His film column in the Village Voice famously championed the likes of Warhol and Brakhage as the vanguard of a new film movement that he dubbed the New American Cinema. Mekas' Film Culture magazine was launched as an American response to the French Cahiers du Cinéma. By co-founding the Filmmakers Co-operative, Mekas and his contemporaries sought to create a community - a family as he calls it - to work on, produce, appear in and screen eachother's work. When questioned about his patronage and work in the avant garde film world of the '60s and beyond, Mekas likens his role to that of a midwife, working to care for and to nurse a film movement that is still proving its significance and influence today.

Mekas' work rate has not diminished over time. Last year he produced 365 films, one a day, which were distributed over the internet. They range from explorations of Scottish castles to conversations over the breakfast table, but his voice and filmmaking spirit are present in all of them.

The Pictures was lucky enough to get the opportunity to spend an evening with Jonas and his friends, crawling the bars and restaurants of Soho. By the time it came to sitting down for the interview, (many) drinks had been had and connections made, and perhaps it is not the most solid piece of journalism, but stands well as an artefact of the night. I should add that Jonas finished the interview with a joke, but my tape ran out and the joke was lost. His musings on romanticism, Youtube and the determination of a Capricorn, were caught in full...

THE PICTURES: About the filmmakers co-op, you had this idea of a new American did that work logistically? How did all these individual filmmakers find eachother, and how did you go about setting something like this up?

JONAS MEKAS: It was very easy, already getting together, creating a co-operative, New American Cinema group. That was in 59, 60, 61, 62. We got to know eachother at the screenings. There were various places in which we screened our films. Everybody was always there. If there was a screening for the avant garde, experimental, what they used to call independent, personal film, everybody was there. They knew, then they were there, so it was very easy to meet and to know eachother. It was our, you know, we were all interested in the same kind of, more or less, cinema, so we knew eachother. So when it came to the creation of teh filmmakers co-operative all we had to do was let everybody know, come on that day, and we were meeting to discuss the possibility of creating our own distribution centre, everybody was there, like a large family. And in those days it was not thousands, there were only a few, couple of dozen filmmakers, not thousands like now. Millions.

TP: When you were writing the Film Culture magazine, writing for the Village Voice, you championed what was considered, at the time, underground film-

JM: Passing information, yes yes.

TP: Do you think that kind of filmmaking still exists in modern times?

JM: Modern? Modern? What kind of expression is that?

TP: I mean, just, now. Now, do you think there is such a thing as underground film, or do you think underground film has become more a genre than an actual thing?

JM: Underground today is on the internet. Not in cinema, because film does not practically exist anymore, so it's video, video, it's all in certain. Underground today maybe is Youtube. If you look for some equivalent I would say Youtube.

TP: I think that's different though.

JM: Well of course, different medium, different dissemination.

TP: But everybody is far apart, nobody meets eachother the same way.

JM: Yes.

TP: Do you think it's an important thing, for people to get toether?

JM: They get together through the medium of the internet.

TP: But they never meet eachother.

JM: It's different, they don't have to meet eachother.

TP: Do you not think that's a little sad though?

JM: When you have one million of them, how can they get together? It's a different, completely different situation. You can always invite on your website, locate say a place in Soho in London and at a certain hour, time, be there, I'm there, I would like to meet you, those who are in close vicinity.

TP: That's true.

JM: I challenge you...

TP: There's no need to challenge me, I already tried.

JM: OK, OK, so you, now... so it's a different time, different medium, somewhere else and you cannot recreate the past. You could make find examples if you would go back to, OK, we are talking about what we did in the '60s, so now you go back to 40 and we are now 40 years, 50 years from there. Now go back 50 from the '60s and we are in 1910! In 1910 it was unimaginable, it was not what happened in the '60s, 65, so it was, I don't know maybe not such a big gap as 65 and 2008, but I mean 1905 and 1965 there was an immense gap, almost similar to this one.

TP: Speaking of 1910, the film we saw tonight, your "Birth of a Nation", it had a scene where you filmed Charlie Chaplin, and it seemed to me like maybe your films had something in common with Chaplin in that you had these cameras and you just figured out what to do with them by yourself, there was no 'I'm going to be a filmmaker so I have to stick to these rules', it's a case of working out what you want to do...

JM: I don't get what you're saying now.

TP: Well, when Charlie Chaplin started making films, all he had was a camera and himself and his friends and he figured out how to make films...


TP: And when you were making films, you had a camera and you figured out what to do with it yourself, and along the lines various people have done that. Do you see any of that happening now, or do you think-

JM: Yes, people are still, only now it's a different instrument, now it's a video and different varieties of digital taping, little cameras, whatever, telephones, different means of capturing moving images, and it's happening and everybody's doing it, there's no... Only now that it's so easy and for Chaplin it was not so easy and cost a lot of money.

TP: I really liked that actually, where he was sort of kissing everyone from the balcony, it seemed like a nice reference... I wanted to ask, your films always seem a little bit romantic to me, like the way that you film people and the world, it's obvious you have quite an affection for it.

JM: Yeah but still they're real, what I film is reality, they're real, the camera is real, the lens is real, the recording's real, so it's reality. The idea of romanticism is in your head.

TP: Maybe romanticism is the wrong word, maybe optimism?

JM: Even that is only in your head because what I film is reality.

TP: That's true, but the way you film it...

JM: Haha, try to get out of that.

TP: It's subjective, it's not in my head, that's from your head.

JM: What I choose to film, you mean that the moments which I'm filming, the people during that moment are very, in a very romantic situation?

TP: No no, not a romantic situation. Let me try to phrase it in a different way. You make the things that you film look very beautiful.

JM: Beautiful? No, I don't make them beautiful. The camera catches what there is. I don't make, I don't ask them to put on make-up or behave one or other way, a sweet or beautiful way, I catch reality as it is!

TP: Maybe it is in my head...

JM: No, no, we are discussing a very important subject, because I have been, I have read many times people write this, I'm a romantic, da da da, but still, I film only what there is, I don't make it up. No directing there, only life as it is.

TP: But you choose what parts to film.

JM: Well, you have to choose, otherwise I'd have to film 24 hours non-stop. I don't do that, I just choose certain moments that say, moments to which I react that I feel like I should record for myself those moments. I don't say you're wrong but I'm trying to understand how this works, why people refer to it as romantic.

TP: I think because you film some people on a day out with their babies, or you film children learning to do things, or swimming in the sea...

JM: Yeah but that's all real, I'm filming life, daily, realistic. I'd even consider the possibility to call myself a realist, naturalist filmmaker.

TP: Yes, it's entirely realistic in that those things are real and do happen, but there are a lot of other things that happen.

JM: Yes but I'm not interested, I cannot cover all, I'm not interested in absolutely everything, you know I cannot film or be interested in everything, I would have to film 24 hours a day.

TP: But the parts that you do film seem to be the more optimistic parts. I mean, I haven't seen all of your films so can't say.

JM: Optimistic, that's a very very... I mean, what you mean probably is parts in which people are happy and they're celebrating and alive, they're singing or you know, there is no...

TP: Yes, they celebrate life, but not life as being happy, but you know the interesting parts, even if somebody's sad, it's interesting, they're not just sitting there moping.

JM: No, I'm not interested in recording miserable moments. That doesn't mean that I'm a romantic.

TP: I guess what I'm getting at is, a lot of people my age who've seen your older films, it's like what you were saying in the talk today about how you don't want to get nostalgic about anything. People look on these films as kind of nostalgic visions of a time they weren't born...

JM: Yes.

TP: Do you still see the same things now? When you made your 365 films, did you still look at the world the same way, do you still see the same things as interesting?

JM: Yes, in that respect there is no change. I don't see any change. I'm still recording those moments when people are happy, singing, dancing. I see no difference, no change, and actually maybe increased- No, no change. I want a copy of this. Can you send me a copy of this?

TP: Of course. I was going to ask about politics, and i know you said up front you've got no interest in specific politics in a sort of Godard way-

JM: I am and I am not. My understanding of what, to me there are positive politics and negative politics and I'm not interested in negative politics. Negative politics to me are all those politics that are now considered as politics. Positive politics are the politics of Buckminster Fuller, of the beat generation, of John Cage, of Fluxus and many scientists and poets, those that change our deep, they have contributed more to the change of style of living, of attitude to life, to what we are than all those others, the negative politicians, the real politicians are only contributing to it negatively.

TP: That sort of answered the question I was going to ask. I was going to say the films you make are very personal, and this reminds me of your films, you know the Truffaut quote about the films of the future will be filmed by one person and they will reflect their experience to the whole world but-

JM: But he said that at the time when that was happening. He was a little bit out of touch with what was happening, but that's OK, we can forgive him.

TP: I always found his films not that interesting...

JM: 100 Blows is a great, great movie still. If he would not have, he did not have to make anything else after that, and I don't care about all the other films that he made after that.

TP: I haven't actually seen that one...

JM: You haven't seen it?? That's why you don't like Truffaut. That's the only film that you should see and forget all the rest. And that film is a masterpiece.

TP: I'll make sure I do.

JM: Do that in the next 10 days.

TP: So your films are obviously made from a very personal point of view.

JM: Every film is.

TP: But the times you were filming in were very politically active times, and the times and people you were filming, there's inevitably an element of those politics in your films. Do you think that film in itself, and you've sort of already answered this, do you think it's passive and records what's going on, or do you think it's-

JM: Film, or a piece of videotape or film, and there is a camera, it's of course passive, but you use it. It's you who does something with it. Of course it's passive, but then you take it, put it in your camera, you point at something and you do something with it and than it's all you. The camera of course is always passive, but what you do with it...

TP: Do you think it can affect change?

JM: There is nothing in the whole universe, absolutely nothing and it has been proved by the scientists, I think all of them agree, that there is nothing under the sun that doesn't affect, that doesn't have an effect on anything else. Is there something?


JM: Black holes?

SM: When something enters

JM: Then it does not have an effect?

BENN NORTHOVER: But doesn't time come into the effect, it happens?

JM: Yeah, but we are so far away from black holes.

BN: Well, (inaudible) films...

JM: Forget it, we don't want to get into the black holes, which they are going to create in Geneva, the little ones...

TP: In terms of ways of getting films out there, I don't know if they're up there with your consent or what, but quite a few of your 365 films are up on Youtube.

JM: I don't know who puts them there and I don't care. Sometimes I notice they're putting parts of them there, they're not in their entirety, but they're there, and I don't know how the system of Youtube works, and in my case I don't care because I don't have millions of people buying my work, and I know that some commercial filmmakers are very concerned and they have forced now Youtube to, there is right now a big something going on about the copyright and how to stop this, and I'm not very interested, but it's going, something is happening, they want to prevent it, or get money from it, or stop it, take off, whatever. That's not my concern because I'm too small.

TP: Maybe it suits a certain type of filmmaker. I read an interview with Harmony Korine where he said he wanted to use Youtube.

JM: But unfortunately his films are not produced by himself, there are producers of his films and they would not do that, they want money back, so if he would produce himself, he could put it there, like I put everything there. I have no producers, I am the producer, Korine has a producer. But I like him.

TP: Is it true that you have hundreds of hours of footage produced with him?

JM: Not hundreds, but at least 50 hours of footage of Korine, maybe more.

BN: The last time we saw Harmony he was saying that you would release it together.

JM: The last time was like only a month ago, he was signing a book.

TP: What you're doing at the minute, I watched a lot of videos through Youtube, the progression in style is quite noticeable, especially I think that your literal voice comes through more, you speak more. How do you find that, and where do you see it going?

JM: I don't know yet, I don't know yet.

TP: Doing the 365 films in 365 days too was very impressive.

JM: And it was challenging. And I'm a Capricorn. When I put my mind on something I don't want to give up and I don't want to let people down, I want to, I'm sticking to it, so it was to do it and not to miss a single day, a Capricorn cannot miss a single day, and I had to do it, no matter what.

TP: Being a filmmaker, you've said that some people are artists and some people aren't and either you're born one or you're not...

JM: One cannot produce an art movement artificially, neither with money nor schools.

TP: But do someone who said they wanted to be a filmmaker, what would you think would be the most important qualities?

JM: Those who really really are artists, filmmakers, they don't say that, they don't say "I want to be", they just do, they know, they are, and that's the only thing they want to do. The same in music, the same in poetry. "I want to be a poet". You either are a poet, you are a filmmaker, you just do it and you don't say "I want to", you say "I am". "I want to", they won't say that. So those that say that, put a cross on them, finished. They are not filmmakers.

Illustrations by Katherine Hardy

Sunday, 4 October 2009

SEXPLOITATION - filmmaking contest & our next London night

The Pictures night is 1!

To celebrate our first birthday on October 21st, we're launching our first ever filmmaking contest.

Contact for entry address and details. Films can be anything on, around or in response to the theme - no restrictions at all except those in the rules. Get working, get in touch and get your entries in!

Entries will be screened and judged at our FIRST BIRTHDAY PARTY!


Yes, we have made it to the tender age of one, and to celebrate we're having a sexy party!

Our hottest lineup is...

One of our favourite bands to play this past year come back, fresh from supporting No Age (!) to lead the dance with their fantastic pop tunage. With an album out soon on UTR, Trashkit have had an amazing year too.

really this time.

the results of our SEXPLOITATION filmmaking contest where you vote from for the prize winner from our shortlist, plus a screening of Russ Meyer's MONDO TOPLESS - one of the strangest films we've seen in a little while. Part Carry On style camp, part Nouvelle Vague-esque psuedo-documentary, part excuse for Russ Meyer to showcase his buxom friends on the screen. Contains much nudity - adults only!

DIY SHORTS from around and about and everywhere.

another round of our MYSTERY GAME, details to be revealed on the night


DJs and Dancing til late - it is afterall a party!

and because it's a party, FANCY DRESS is encouraged and requested - dress sexy! Prize for best costume!

back on a Wednesday October 21st at Bardens Boudoir,

Next Month: The Pictures cleans up its act...

Invisible Adversaries (Valie Export, 1976)

Anna, an artist, is obsessed with the invasion of alien doubles bent on destruction.

"The film feels a little as if Godard were reincarnated as a woman and decided to make a feminist version of The Invasion of the Body Snatchers." - Amy Taubin

watch it on Ubuweb.


(article originally in The Pictures Zine Issue 2)

Beth Murphy and Rebecca Loar – Bang Wash Productions – are interactive movie stars. Hailing from Columbus, Ohio via Godard’s Paris, the duo have so far shot, directed and starred in three short movies, with a fourth on the way. Through each, the two filmmakers are a constant presence, avatars in blonde wigs and mini-dresses, mirror images performing, equal and opposite, on either side of the screen. Bang Wash movies are about games, equations and patterns; rituals, language and colour.

Rabbit Vacuum One and Joy Divisions are list films (like list songs). The first tells a disjointed, nonsensical tale through the oration of punters in a bar – a series of cutup interviews ostensibly about a wild night at a gig. In the midst of the list of anecdotes, Beth and Rebecca illustrate, counterpoint and act out parts of the scenario using props and centred shots – foaming at the mouth, hair in buns, a gun, t-shirts that read ‘Hate Core Kids’. These staged sequences form the psychic space behind the storyteling, a mental picture game prompted by words and played out by the two women, the secret agents of the story, working for the film.

In the second, the mental space takes over and all is illustration. Disembodied voices relate experiences, half thoughts and memories of joy that are then playfully demonstrated by the film and the Beth/Rebecca avatars who show us empty boxes, equations on chalk boards, slogans on gym pants and arcade game rain. The two women know secrets and tease us with didactic clues.

Bang Wash’s third movie, The Scandalous Lamella, is the first to take us into these secret agent’s world. A narrative film – a lo-fi musical – follows the two women as they decorate a flat and become acquainted through paint charts and party games. The duo relax with wine. They play a board game: each pulls out a tooth and places it in a cup. The players roll the dice and move that number of spaces to find out which liquid to add to the tooth. Different liquids rot the tooth at different speeds. Whoever’s tooth disappears first wins. Tension builds. Sequences are interspersed with hand crafted title cards and, as the two eventually decide to play at murder, numbered visitors bringing poison. The colours of the film change, cycling through the paint chart. The games become ever more complex. We try to follow the poison’s path, we pick a winner. The soundtrack swells until the duo break into song.

Bang Wash films draw us in to their new wave games, with Beth and Rebecca as our twisted hosts. They lay down their challenges and ask whether we can resist to play.

1.How did the two of you meet, decide to make films, get started?

we both lived on furniture alley in washington beach, ohio. most people thought we were one person because we have similar bangs and chins. eventually we mistook each other for each other after drinking a lot of shots of bulliet at the bar. then we decided we wanted extra slashes after our name .

2.What's the significance of your characters within the films? Do they mean the same thing in each?

girls usually are blond, unless they are black or us. sometimes we are us. boys wear baseball caps.

3.What are your biggest influences? How much of an influence is music on your filmmaking?

abba, lacan, champagne, "home movies", "persona", donnie monaco. crucial bun does all of our music. crucial bun is us. we are signed to "try an hommelette today" records. "try an hommelette today" records is us. sometimes we cover "the better beach boys" songs. "the better beach boys" is us.

4.What's the process behind making the films? Like, taking Lamella as an example, and speaking logistically, what would be the stages of production?

one of us says something funny and then the other person says thats totally a movie. then we draw pictures on notecards at the bar. then we buy food coloring, pipe cleaners, jello, sequins, alize, korean food and fake nails. then we get the wigs because we don't like other people. sometimes we get cake. we have a shitcamHD450 that we ducktape to a tripod. sometimes you gotta use the old on/off trick on it.

5.What are you working on next?

we are finishing a closet splitscreen movie using manual special effects about two girls on house arrest. next we are summering in detroit for a romantic comedy about stalking with Candies. and we are getting lip tattoos for a party trick.

6. in our free time we literally enjoy jigsaw puzzles, fucking shit up, buying fools gold at giant eagle, laughing, telling people we are not related or that we are, putting things on them-shaped things, making lists of things we don't know the name of, hanging out with the puffy mope and the spikey mope (the puffy mope's punk rock girlfriend) and making fun of new york

7. our three favorite signs ever are: kids eat free $1 mimosas, world's largest miniature village & on this site in 1881 nothing happened.

8. we are looking for a sandwich man to drive us around.

9. the worst elvis impersonator? thanks for asking garry. we think he is an 8 year old boy in somalia who has never heard of elvis.

Zine #2 Now Available

The second issue of our mother zine is now available either by contacting us, coming along to one of our nights, or from Rough Trade East where there are still a few copies.

40 illustrated pages, colour and b&w, and including interviews with - Angelique Bosio (Llik Your Idols), Ry Russo-Young (Orphans, You Won't Miss Me), Nicola Probert, Tom Moore, Bang Wash Productions, Alexandra Roxo and Garry Sykes, plus fiction by Michael Reid and artwork by some of those featured.