When Mr. Shipley first shared with me his desire, to lock himself in a room with nothing but Begotten playing in a loop cycle, watching its images over and over again for two weeks, isolating himself from any outside influence, taking no interruption or break except to sleep, it seemed like a recipe from the writers of the old testament prophets manipulating and isolating all sense so they may unfettered by the noise of the everyday unearth their experience of the divine; Gary’s approach to making Begotten his own in a ritual of creative-conscious engagement is a decision to no longer passively “watch” Begotten but to enact and digest within his own being a ritual which would remake the film inside his very temple of earth, his body. I always secretly hoped Begotten to be more than a movie, to be in fact an initiation for those willing to go that far. So I can only admire Gary for finding the necessary map to what makes this film belong only to those willing to unlock it.
–E. Elias Merhige
“Gary Shipley’s conception of reality is more like our actual present reality than our literary culture’s usual inbred narrative realism can afford; that is: grotesque, cornered, starving, horrific, on the verge of being ripped to shreds. Yet in the same breath, by way of his attentions: finally transcendent of that same ongoing mundane, excised of playground made-for-TV horseshit, thought-bendingly alive in a way most ways of storytelling couldn’t begin to wish to ape. Literature almost doesn’t deserve this maniac, and thank hell he’s here.”
–Blake Butler, author of Three Hundred Million