Video still from Wrong Adventures, 1984

Wrong Adventures

The video Wrong Adventures is the saga of a man named Bud who recounts to his psychoanalyst stories of his troubled relationships with various people, any of whom could be imaginary. During Bud's sessions, the analyst sits behind a two-way mirror and never speaks. On a walk at the edge of the jungle, Bud has an encounter with an astronaut he thinks is the ghost of his father. The astronaut tells him of his childhood dog, Queenie, and disappears into the jungle. After shooting a stranger hiding in his mother's bedroom closet, Bud is committed to an institution for the criminally insane. There he is put to work making clothes hangers and treated until he is no longer deemed a threat to society. 

Video still from Wrong Adventures, 1984

"By the time I arrived at the Capp Street Project in San Francisco, I'd memorized Hamlet's Act III, Scene I soliloquy and was looking for an chance to use it and some of the play's themes in a video. I brought along other unrelated story fragments, such as one about a narcoleptic who is sexually assaulted by an astronaut, and I made use of the film Vertigo, which was reissued in theaters in early 1984."

Charlesworth shot scenes of himself cruising San Francisco in a convertible, and placed his camera on the spot where Hitchcock filmed beneath the Golden Gate Bridge. Other exteriors were shot on the golf course near the Legion of Honor and in the botanical gardens at Golden Gate Park. Indoor scenes were filmed in the installation built by the artist during his residency at the Capp Street Project. As with Charlesworth's previous video works, Wrong Adventures is stylized in appearance and has a small volunteer cast. 


Script, Direction, Design, Camera: Bruce Charlesworth 

Editing: McCune Studios, San Francisco 

Studio Assistance: Scott Mertens, Tom Ruth

CAST: Bruce Charlesworth (Bud), Bill Carlson (Dr. Vent),

Scott Mertens (Astronaut), Renée Bott (Mother), Ann Hatch

(Answering Machine Voice)


1984, 3/4-inch video, 20 minutes

 Copyright © Bruce Charlesworth

Copyright © Bruce Charlesworth