NB: there is no audio track: Maenza's films were never mastered or fitted with sound. This rip comes from a digitized work print. His films were sometimes screened with live voice performance commenting on and/or enacting what unrolls visually.
This is a digitally transferred work print of an exceptionally rare film. There is some light residual ghosting here and there.
According to developing legends about this film, Maenza ran into trouble collaborating with another young poet in developing this retelling of the story of Orpheus as a "happening" where a bourgeois youth descends into the "underground" and discovers himself so transformed by its polymorphous-perverse possibilities that the world as it is must be renounced. This film should be of interest to anyone who likes Adolfo Arrieta's revisions of Cocteau's work (Orpheus among others) and it is one of the most intriguing new pieces of historical queer erotica that I've come across in quite a while. A little essay by me providing more details will be posted here in a few days.
Luis Puig (the source for
the performance text) remembers (my trans.):
In December 1968 I participated in the film Orpheus Shot on the Battlefield, which originated as a collective work, a movie without an author, but which would ultimately be attributed to Antonio Maenza in the end even though he only played the role of the director in the film. The film, which was never provided a soundtrack, was screened on several occasions with a soundtrack performed live consisting of a text for three voices and a number of musical pieces, among which were the "descent into hell" from the opera L'Orfeo by Monteverdi in the version by Edward H. Tarr, released in 1968 by Erato, "New York 1963 - America 1968" from Every One of Us by Eric Burdon and the Animals; and "The Return of the Son of the Monster Magnet" from Freak Out by [Frank Zappa and] The Mothers of Invention. After the "state of emergency" in January 1969, an epilogue was shot but it was never developed.