(Chicago) 10/27/09 - PREMIUM & MIRACLE - Films by Ed Ruscha

From: Patrick Friel (email suppressed)
Date: Sat Oct 17 2009 - 12:24:08 PDT

White Light Cinema Presents
Tuesday, October 27 ­ 8:00pm
At The Nightingale (1084 N. Milwaukee Ave.)
One of the acknowledged masters of mid and late-twentieth century art, Ed
Ruscha has created a powerful body of work that skewers the popular culture
and marketing of the time through simple, and now iconic, renderings of
signage, gas stations, consumer items, Hollywood imagery, and other modern
Unlike Andy Warhol¹s works of similar subjects, Ruscha rejects the New York
grit for a Los Angeles sheen‹much of the power of his paintings comes from
the ironic gloss that he gives to his images. As Warhol did in NY, Ruscha
has become something of a counterpoint West Coast celebrity and is admired
by and hangs out with Dennis Hopper, Mick Jagger, and others. He, like many
of his art world contemporaries in the 1950s-70s, also explored filmmaking.
Ruscha¹s efforts were short-lived‹he only made two films as compared to the
several hundred Warhol made. But they are idiosyncratic and fascinating
evocations of the time and carry-through many of the themes Ruscha developed
in his painting.
White Light Cinema is pleased to present this extremely rare screening of Ed
Ruscha¹s two films, PREMIUM and MIRACLE.
1971, 24 mins., 16mm
Featuring artist Larry Bell, model Léon Bing, designer Rudi Gernreich, and
musician/comedian Tommy Smothers
Based on the Mason Williams short story "How to Derive the Maximum Enjoyment
from Crackers"
³The immediate source of PREMIUM was a photo-novel, CRACKERS, that Ruscha
made in 1969, itself deriving from a story, ŒHow to Derive the Maximum
Enjoyment from Crackers,¹ written by Mason WilliamsŠ
A man played by the artist Larry Bell buys a shopping cart full of tomatoes,
lettuce, and other salad foods and five one-gallon cans of dressing. Driving
to a skid row flophouse, he rents a $2 room from the desk clerk, played by
the designer Rudi Gernreich. In the rat-infested room, he pulls back the
covers of the bed and on it very carefully prepares a huge salad, a
sculptural composition of greens that flower out symmetrically from its
center and then replaces the bed cover.² (David E. James, The Most Typical
We won¹t spoil the rest.
1975, 28 mins., 16mm
³Features artist Jim Ganzer and actress Michelle Phillips in a tale about a
strange day in the life of an auto mechanic.² (Harvard Film Archive)
These films are Copyright Ed Ruscha, Courtesy Gagosian Gallery.
This program screens Tuesday, October 27, 2009 at 8:00pm at The Nightingale
(1084 N. Milwaukee Ave.).
Admission: $7.00-10.00 sliding scale

Website: www.whitelightcinema.com
WHITE LIGHT CINEMA is an alternative film screening series designed to
complement the programming of other local film venues and organizations by
presenting, alone and in collaboration, rare, obscure, overlooked, and
resolutely non-commercial films and videos that have either not been
screened in Chicago or have not shown in years.
While focusing heavily on great works by avant-garde film masters, the
series aims to include both retrospective and contemporary films and videos
that range across a wide spectrum of alternative cinema. White Light Cinema
will present works demonstrating significant aesthetic merit, originality of
vision, radical and commanding investigations of form, and challenging
provocations to mainstream film and media conventions.

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