Academic journal article Millennium Film Journal

Production Stills: George Landow Directs Paul Sharits

Academic journal article Millennium Film Journal

Production Stills: George Landow Directs Paul Sharits

Article excerpt

In September 1979, when I was film programmer at Media Study/Buffalo, I hosted a visit by George Landow to screen work at the Albright-Knox Art Gallery as part of our "Evenings for New Film" series. Back then Landow was an associate professor of film at the School of the Art Institute. Earlier, as a grad student at Northwestern, I had had the chance to study with Landow when he came there as a visiting artist. That particular class met weekly in the evenings down in a basement classroom and consisted mainly of assisting George with the production of his latest film, On the Marriage Broker Joke as Cited by Sigmund Freud in "Wit and its Relation to the Unconscious" or Can the Avant- Garde Artist Be Whole? While the specifics of those class sessions now elude me, I retain a vivid memory of struggling with my fellow students on the complicated physical logistics of what would become one of the final shots of the film: a green alien figure who faces the camera while running in place wears a cardboard sign around his neck that reads "THIS IS A FILM ABOUT YOU" while a heavy-set, middle-aged man with his eyes closed and arms extended rolls past, as if in a trance. I was part of the student labor that set these two actions in motion.

Fast forward a couple of years. On the Marriage Broker Joke was slated to be shown as a work-inprogress at the Albright-Knox. The details are again somewhat fragmentary, but clearly George must have asked for help with staging and shooting another scene for the film. So on the final weekend of September following his Friday evening show, George and a small crew consisting of Una McClure, my wife, Janet, and myself went to work on a scene featuring the filmmaker Paul Sharits playing a Mozart-like figure, styled in the manner of Little Richard. …

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