Re: Interesting Screening at the University of Chicago (Ron Rice, Edward Owens, others)

From: FSC3 (email suppressed)
Date: Tue Jan 31 2006 - 11:06:21 PST

The films for the Beyond Warhol, Smith and Anger screenings are on
16mm. And while I haven't inspected this week's films, all the other
prints we have so far received from Filmmakers' have been in nice

Thanks for the interest and thanks to Fred for the original post.


>Thanks Fred,
>What are the formats? Not in your post, or on the Film
>Studies Center site.
>--- Fred Camper <email suppressed> wrote:
>> From:
>> "Beyond Warhol, Smith and Anger" Film Series
>> The Gender Question / Questioning Gender
>> Friday, February 3, 2006, 7 pm
>> "Behind Every Good Man" (Nikolai Ursin, 1965, 8
>> minutes)
>> "Chumlum" (Ron Rice, 1964, 26 minutes)
>> "Dirt" (Piero Heliczer, 1965, 12 minutes)
>> "Avocada" (Bill Vehr, 1966, 37 minutes)
>> "Private Imaginings and Narrative Facts" (Edward
>> Owens, 9 minutes)
>> "Tomorrow's Promise" (Edward Owens, 1967, 45
>> minutes)
>> Free and open to the public at:
>> Film Studies Center
>> 5811 South Ellis Ave. Cobb Hall 307
>> Chicago, IL 60637
>> 773.702.8596
>> My suggestion: come early; seating may be limited.
>> Also see after
>> this Thursday as
>> well as the upcoming print edition of the "Chicago
>> Reader" for my
>> capsule review.
>> "Chumlum" is an all too rarely screened masterpiece,
>> an extravagantly
>> costumed orgy in lush colors and multiple
>> superimpositions. It's one of
>> the very first avant-garde films I saw, as a
>> teenager. I still remember
>> seeing two middle aged men outside the screening.
>> One said to the other
>> something like, "Chumlum was very beautiful, but I
>> didn't understand the
>> meaning. Orgy? Paradise?" The other responded with
>> knowing certainty,
>> "Paradise." I was amused by this at the time. Today
>> I would say that
>> obviously it's both, and a few other things as well.
>> "Dirt" is a pretty interesting example of Heliczer's
>> found footage,
>> "looks a bit like random" aesthetic.
>> But the real reason for this post is the presence of
>> two filmmakers I'd
>> never heard of, unearthed in the research of
>> University of Chicago
>> professor Ron Gregg. Ursin's film is not that great
>> aesthetically, but
>> is interesting as a very early example of a
>> documentary on a drag queen.
>> I don't know of any earlier ones.
>> Owens's films I liked pretty much. They aren't
>> great, but they're very
>> good. They both show the influence of Gregory J.
>> Markopoulos, and it
>> turns out that Owens was a student at the School of
>> the Art Institute,
>> doing painting and then collages from the early 60s
>> on. He later studied
>> with Markopoulos when he taught film briefly there
>> in 1966-67, and the
>> Owens films seem in some ways very much like
>> Markopoulos's at the time,
>> with their use of editing and superimpositions to
>> create a sense that
>> figures and objects are interrelated and
>> interpenetrating. They are
>> quite curious, very slow, lots of pauses, static
>> figures. The longer of
>> the two has writing also on its dark leader, looking
>> at times like it
>> wasn't completely finished. It also seems that Owens
>> was African
>> American, making him a rare example of an African
>> American working in
>> the American avant-garde mode. I couldn't find any
>> references to him
>> other than for these films in a quick 'Net search,
>> though I didn't
>> explore most of the hits; if anyone knows anything
>> about him, or about
>> what happened to him, I'd be curious to learn more.
>> All these films are from the Filmmakers' Cooperative
>> in New York. Who
>> knows what other treasures lie there unrented?
>> Fred Camper
>> Chicago
>> For info on FrameWorks, contact Pip Chodorov at
>> <email suppressed>.
>John Porter, Toronto, Canada
>email suppressed
>Find your next car at
>For info on FrameWorks, contact Pip Chodorov at <email suppressed>.

For info on FrameWorks, contact Pip Chodorov at <email suppressed>.