Charles Recher (1950-2017)

story © Michael Betancourt, September 30, 2017 all rights reserved.


The Miami Rail is running a tribute. This is my contribution.

For the twenty years that I knew him, Charles was one of my best friends, but that doesn’t mean I’m not struggling to know what to say because how can you sum up someone like Charles? For the entire time I knew him he talked about “the tribe.” It was his idea of an extended family of like minds supporting each other. The many days we sat and talked about movies and art while drinking tea, looking at works in progress and hashing out how to make them better. His projection contraptions. The projector-head for Video Prophet when it was still a mess of tape and mock-up. All the black face when we were shooting TV. Curry. Very hot curry.

We were talking about his works as “cinematic mantras,” that each one was a way letting go, an expression of some human failing, exercised like so many dark spirits. It’s always tempting to call his kind of work autobiographical, but “alchemical” always seemed a better way. Transformative. Visionary, perhaps. That was what made our conversations so interesting. His approach was so different than mine, playful and intuitive, looking for a perspective that wasn’t necessarily visible.

I miss him.


Copyright © Michael Betancourt  September 30, 2017  all rights reserved.

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