Standing next to me I noticed a distinguished gentleman whose nametag read “Radley Metzger.” So I chatted with him.
I attended the festival because I enjoyed watching silent movies, and asked if he was attending for the same reason.
He had the strongest sense of cinema of any filmmaker I know of, and he made the most demanding films I’ve ever seen.
I asked about Attraction, which he had released in 1969.
The bedrock upon which his stories were founded, though, was something different, something usually unnoticeable until one studies several of his films: His cherishing of kindness, consideration, caring, and genuine selfless affection (which he defines as true “culture”), and his disdain for their opposites (which he defines as “civilization”).
Seeing these films, filled as they were with playfulness and brain teasers and compassion, I could not help but be drawn.
I first heard of him, quite by accident, in about February 1979.
Intrigued, I attempted to seek out his movies, but not a single one of his films was available anywhere in the US in any format, on film or on video.