From the Distribution Project | Chicago Reader

From the Distribution Project

Chicago Filmmakers got into the film distribution business in 1993, after acquiring the library of a local company called Picture Start, and this program culled from its collection includes two genuine masterpieces: Robert Breer's Bang! (1986) and Pat O'Neil's Saugus Series (1974). Bang! begins with old home-movie footage of the filmmaker canoeing but quickly blossoms into a near-symphonic tapestry of animation, abstract forms, and photographed images. A plane crash emphasizes the theme of failure, but the film is also about the triumph of the imagination. In Saugus Series optical printing creates a series of paradoxes: a woman's shoe appears to change color and texture, and the backgrounds behind it change as well. Also worth seeing are Gary Beydler's Pasadena Freeway Stills (1974), a spare, creepy performance-oriented film in which photographic images become animated, and Dana Hodgson's Dialectic Definitions (1977), an amusing exercise in reading from a dictionary. The other films on the program—by Larry Cuba, Stan VanDerBeek, Scott Bartlett, Ed Emshwiller, and Hilary Harris—offer plenty of visual excitement but never progress beyond a rambling trippiness. 91 min.


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