Erica Beckman b. 1961
Out of Hand (1988)
Produced, directed, shot and edited by Ericka Beckman
Music and vocals by Beckman/Brooke Halpin
Starring Paul Mc Mahon

Featuring James Welling, Matt Mullican, Nancy Chunn, April Gornik “OUT OF HAND is a search film, where a small boy returns to a house that is being evacuated, to search for something that he left behind. His method is to follow hidden clues in this house and to respond to the hidden aids in his memory. Back and forth, between inquisition and logic, he constructs a search with two unknowns – ‘What it is’ and ‘Where it is’. Each object he chooses has multiple functions, which extend both into the physical space of his search, and into the imaginary world of his perception and memory.” — E.B. 1980

“Ericka Beckman is one of the most accomplished of younger filmmakers. The five Super-8 films she released since 1977 can be located at the “perceptual edge” of Post-structural Punk; they’re not absolute rejections of 70’s formalism. Beckman’s work has affinities to certain films of George Landow and the trickier sections of Robert Nelson and William Wiley’s The Great Blondino, but basically she is an idiosyncratic original with a full-blown out style of her own. Like primitive cartoons, Beckman’s enigmatic allegories are filled with nervous activity and comic violence, sexual imagery and syncopated energy, perceptual game-playing and ingenious homemade optical effects. Her major thematic preoccupations include “ the coordination of the self in the physical world”. There is something undeniably callisthenic about her vision. Singsong voice tracks, jerky robot motions, repetitive gestures and the iconic use of sports equipment and cheerleaders characterize Beckman’s mise en scene. Beckman frequently links her work to Piaget but, with its obsessive images of property and loss, OUT OF HAND is an Allstate Insurance commercial as it might appear to an autistic child.” — J. Hoberman, Artforum January 1981