March 24, 2019

Acquisitions: Brandeis Library Acquires Original, Unreleased Lenny Bruce Short Film

The Brandeis Library is very pleased to announce the acquisition of an original, unreleased short filmfeaturing comedian Lenny Bruce. The untitled 12-and-a-half minute 16mm film, a collaboration between Bruce and the musician “Count” Lewis DePasquale, a friend of the comedian, is a darkly comic, silent account of a down-on-his-luck street newspaper salesman, played by Bruce, with a jazz score, likely by DePasquale. The film follows the ups-and-downs — mainly downs — of the main character, from his dreams of owning a motorcycle jacket, to his clashes with the landlady of the flophouse in which he resides, and an accidental, fateful run-in with a drug dealer and police.

The film is a significant addition to Special Collections existing, extensive Lenny Bruce collection. Prior to its acquisition, the film had been held by the DePasquale family, following Count Lewis’s death in 2001. As a close friend of Bruce, DePasquale chronicled much of the comedian’s early 1960s heydey, when the film was produced, but the film stands apart as an original, artistic collaboration. The two friends’ work will now be available for the first time through the Library’s University Archives & Special Collections Department.

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More News From Brandeis…

Abbie Hoffman Materials Gifted to Brandeis University Archives

Abbie Hoffman, class of 1959, once said in a rarely-heard interview that he hoped to give his papers to Brandeis University.

Recently, donor Keith Armonaitis approached us with a collection of old recordings from a deceased fellow documentarian and friend Stuart Hutchison, or “Hutch” for short. Hutch was interested in the counterculture of the ’60s, and his audio recordings have recently been given to the Brandeis University Archives to honor Abbie’s wish.

These recordings are on various media, including reels and cassettes. Archives do not risk playing this media; rather, they send them out for professional digitization, which means we do not know very much about the content. What we do know is that there are a series of interviews in 1989 with Hoffman — most of which have never been heard outside of Hutch’s circle of friends and colleagues. Other media have labels with names such as Philip Agee, Allen Ginsberg, and Kurt Vonnegut.

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Gary Price About Gary Price

Gary Price (gprice@mediasourceinc.com) is a librarian, writer, consultant, and frequent conference speaker based in the Washington D.C. metro area. Before launching INFOdocket, Price and Shirl Kennedy were the founders and senior editors at ResourceShelf and DocuTicker for 10 years. From 2006-2009 he was Director of Online Information Services at Ask.com, and is currently a contributing editor at Search Engine Land.

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