- Parry Teasdale of Videofreex at a May Day Protest in 1971.
Stop me if you've heard this one before: Two hippies meet at Woodstock and cook up a wacky idea to transform society. The particular hippies in question, Parry Teasdale and David Cort, formed the pioneering video collective Videofreex. These renegade journalists, based out of a 17-bedroom house in the Greene County hamlet of Lanesville, deployed the first handheld video cameras to file independent news reports and interviews with countercultural figures like Black Panther Fred Hampton. After being rejected by CBS, who had provided the equipment, the Freex launched their own pirate TV station, broadcasting with a transmitter given to them by Abbie Hoffman. Jenny Raskin and Jon Nealon's Here Come the Videofreex documents this early instance of radical, homegrown media in an age long before YouTube. Upstate Films will screen Here Come the Videofreex on March 25 (Rhinebeck) and 26 (Woodstock). Parry Teasdale will be in attendance at both screenings for a post-film Q&A. Upstatefilms.org.