Joseph A. Gervasi interviews three of the filmmakers behind the documentary The Pine Barrens. Present for this interview were director David Kessler, musician Benjamin Warfield of the Ruins of Friendship Orchestra, and trickster Allen Crawford (who was once also known by his now-dead alter ego, Lord Whimsy). We discuss the history of New Jersey’s Pine Barrens; the genesis of the film project; the various additional facets that accompany the film, such as live music and art installations; and the ever-evolving nature of both the project and the public’s awareness and protective appreciation of the Pine Barrens. Along with some talk about the lives and other projects of Kessler, Warfield, and Crawford, we consider psychedelics and representing the psychedelic experience on film. We talk about the challenges and responsibilities of representing not only an endangered (and unique) geographic region, but the people (some of whom are not lacking NJ/Philly-are attitude) for whom it is a home or source of solace.
At the time this interview was recorded, The Pine Barrens was nearing completion, with a release date set for some time in 2017.
Photos by Karen Kirchhoff