Sunday, April 16, 2006

Recent Avant-Garde Preservations: Double Feature

Allen Ross' The Grandfather Trilogy and Missing Allen: The Man Who Became A Camera

Yerba Buena Center for the Arts

Presented in Association with Chicago Filmmakers

In his own words, Allen Ross’ The Grandfather Trilogy takes “a radical approach to portraiture” and plays as a “long sustained accident” and a “record of a divinely shadowed presence.” Made between 1979 and 1981, consisting of Papa, Thanksgiving 1979, and Buriels, the trilogy is a unique, unsettling, and moving document of intergenerational relationships. Through frequent use of disorienting camera angles, lingering images of stasis and uncomfortable breaks in conversation, The Grandfather Trilogy embodies the troubled yet ultimately close relationship between the filmmaker and his subject, allowing them their own space and time while reflecting on the intimate, yet intrusive, process of documentation.

Missing Allen: The Man Who Became A Camera at 8:50 pm

Allen Ross, experimental filmmaker, co-founder of Chicago Filmmakers, and cinematographer for numerous television documentaries, vanished in 1995. After his disappearance, his friend and fellow documentary filmmaker Christian Bauer decides to try to find him, or at least understand what happened. Although the deeper questions raised by this unsettling documentary are never answered, Missing Allen is a haunting investigation into America’s dark side of religious cults and fringe groups, a tribute to Ross as a person and filmmaker, and a reflection on how little we sometimes know each other. It features interviews with Chicago filmmakers Tom Palazzolo, Bill Stamets, and others.