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A Video Artist Mines the Sweet Drone of Suffering

Cameron Jamie suffers for his art. For his short film "BB" (2000), he spent the better part of two years shooting backyard wrestlers in the San Fernando Valley. And the young wrestlers shot back.

Earlier this week, over a slice of apple pie at a family restaurant here, Mr. Jamie recalled: "They threw bricks at me. And ladders. You're just there filming, and kids do stupid things." For example, they jump off rooftops.

"The worst is when they land on you," he said, evenly.

"BB" has been screened in the United States, but it will be shown with a live score by the Melvins, a metal punk band, for the first time here on Saturday night at Royce Hall at the University of California, Los Angeles. (The program, which also features two of Mr. Jamie's other shorts, is not yet scheduled elsewhere in the country.)

Among contemporary video art fans, "BB" has a bit of a cult following. In Art Forum, Gary Indiana wrote that the film's "complex choreography of injury" has "the visceral effect of a classical drama."...

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