This is the Archivist’s home, his hermit’s cave, his retreat — also the place that he has consciously modeled on the human brain, complete with right and left hemispheres, and areas representing the amygdala and cerebellum. He himself, he tells us, is the hippocampus — the gatekeeper, and also the organ involved with the storage of all knowledge and memory. Except, tellingly, short-term memory. Because the archive, which contains all the films in the world, is a closed system and therefore dead. The Archivist sorts the films according to an idiosyncratic system of his own.
Phillips is one of the most creative theater artists in the country and his visits to this hometown are infrequent. The ARCHIVIST is still unfinished, and audiences have been seeing slightly different versions of it — but every version is bound to be illuminating.