Joy Steinberg '81 and Brian Gale '81


Joy Steinberg '81 and Brian Gale '81


Interviewee Role


Significant Quote

“I did study with Adolfas, and he was my mentor, Adolfas Mekas, film. And he taught us we’d never make a living doing it, I did surprise him by actually now living doing it.” -Brian


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Class Year


Academic Program

Literature; Political Studies

Class Year


Academic Program

Film and Electronic Arts


Paul Margolis '76


Both Joy and Brian entered Bard through the Immediate Decision Plan. Brian’s father was initially reluctant to send him to Bard (he had heard Bard was “a pretty communist place” and said “no way, no how”, but a New York Times article about Leon Botstein made a great impression. Brian talks about how his experience studying film at Bard informed his career path: “I kind of was more of a working man kind of guy and I wanted my friends that knew nothing about the latest in film criticism to like my films, and I found out that if I made them really short, no one would be all squirmy in their chairs. And then when it was done they were happy ... and it turned out that there was this industry called advertising where you spend lots of money making really short films called television commercials.” He also recounts Adolfas’ criteria for critiquing films: “There’s only two ways to judge, in this case, a motion picture: does it work, or does it not, and that’s it.”

Joy spent time exploring the campus and found that “Bard was one of the places that allows me–allowed me to learn how to enjoy being by myself… When I think about Bard, I think about being outside and usually I’m alone.” She also remembers a day she shared with Brian at Bard when they shared a bottle of tequila, which slowly became three bottles over many hours. (They note that the drinking age was 18.) Friends came and went all day, sipping slowly and sharing ‘incredible conversations’ about “everything.” Joy describes this as a ‘mindwalk’ saying ‘it was a perfect day of expanding your brain.’


Rhode Island School of Design (RISD); New York Times; Goddard College; Hampshire College; Bard College; New York City, New York; Adolfas Mekas; Bard Immediate Decision Plan; Leon Botstein; University of Chicago; The Art Students League of New York; Vanity Fair; Manor House; Bruce Bailey; John Updike; Allen Ginsberg; Toni Morrison; William “Bill” Gaddis; Ferruccio Gambino; Benjamin Lafarge; Tewksbury


Bertelsmann Campus Center

Interview Date


Interview Duration


Rights Management

Joy Steinberg '81 and Brian Gale '81