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Leslie Thornton: Peggy and Fred in Hell (The Complete Transcript)

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Leslie Thornton, Peggy and Fred in Hell (The Complete Transcript). New York: Zummer/Spoonbender, 2017.

About the film:

Peggy And Fred In Hell is one of the strangest cinematic artifacts of the last 20 years, revealing the abuses of history and innocence in the face of catastrophe, as it chronicles two small children journeying through a post-apocalyptic landscape to create their own world. Breaking genre restrictions, Thornton uses improvisation, planted quotes, archival footage and formless timeframes to confront the viewer's preconceptions of cause and effect.

"At its most distinctive, as in the endless and eternal Peggy And Fred In Hell cycle, Thornton’s work wanders past the medium’s limits and finds the medium’s origins.” —Bill Horrigan, Wexner Center


Leslie Thornton (b. 1951) is a recognized pioneer of contemporary media aesthetics who is engaged with film, video, photography and installation. Retrospectives have been held at MoMA (New York), FemCine (Santiago), Anthology Film Archives (New York) and at the Brooklyn Academy of Music. Her work has been widely exhibited at venues such as Documenta 12 (Kassel); MoMA PS1 (Long Island City); Centre Pompidou (Paris); the Whitney Biennial (New York); Raven Row and Rodeo Gallery (London); the New York Film Festival, Oberhausen, and Rotterdam International Film Festival, among others. Thornton is in the permanent collections of Fundació Antoni Tàpies, Centre Pompidou, MoMA, the Pacific Film Archives, the Walker Art Center and Jeu de paume. Recent exhibitions include Kuenstlerhaus Stuttgart, Secession (Vienna) and Malmö Kunsthalle. Thornton lives and works in New York.

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