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Jon Vickers
Indiana University Cinema

Last modified: Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Indie filmmakers Jill Godmilow, Kenneth Anger to lecture, screen films at IU Cinema Feb. 10, 11

Feb. 8, 2011

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. -- Independent filmmakers Jill Godmilow and Kenneth Anger will present free, open-to-the-public lectures at Indiana University's IU Cinema Feb. 10-11. Films from each director that are part of The Kinsey Institute collection will be screened during the filmmakers' visits.


Image courtesy of Kenneth Anger

Kenneth Anger made "Fireworks" in 1947, at just 17. The film will be screened during Anger's visit to IU this week.

The lectures are part of the Jorgensen Guest Filmmaker Lecture Series and are made possible through a generous gift from the Ove W. Jorgensen Foundation.

"We are extremely honored to have these two important, independent filmmakers present during our extended opening activities," said Jon Vickers, director of the IU Cinema. "Combined, there is over 100 years of filmmaking experience being shared with our audiences this weekend. Both Jill and Kenneth have been creating art on their own terms since their very first films. This weekend also marks the first of many eventual partnerships with the Kinsey Institute."

Jill Godmilow

Director-filmmaker Godmilow, who teaches at University of Notre Dame in the Film, Television and Theatre Department, will present a lecture titled "What's Wrong with the Liberal Documentary" Feb. 10 at 3 p.m.

Her nonfiction films include What Farocki Taught, Far from Poland, Antonia: A Portrait of a Woman and Roy Cohn/Jack Smith, which will be screened at IU Cinema at 7 p.m. Feb. 10. Roy Cohn/Jack Smith is the story of Cohn, a closeted, right-wing lawyer, and Smith, an underground filmmaker. The two have nothing in common but their sexual orientation and deaths from AIDS in the 1980s. In this film, they are portrayed by a single actor.

Godmilow's dramatic feature film Waiting for the Moon won first prize at Sundance Film Festival in 1987. She was the recipient of a Guggenheim Fellowship and two Rockefeller Foundation Fellowships.

She asks of her artist friends what she asks of her students: "Question everything. Read everything. Risk everything. Fight for your vision even if I just told you it's a lousy idea. Make a fool of yourself. . . . Be playful. Be subversive. Be soulful: in fact, don't even try to make a work of art if your soul's not on the line. Theorize it, write it, but for God's sake make it, already. Then pick it apart, preferably over a good meal with good friends, and start all over."

Kenneth Anger

Author-filmmaker Anger will present a lecture about his career Feb. 11 at 3 p.m. At 7 p.m. that evening, Anger will introduce his films Scorpio Rising (1964) and Fireworks (1947) with a Q-and-A session following the films.

Kenneth Anger

Photo by William Dellenback

Kenneth Anger

Scorpio Rising intertwines a devotion to biker culture with a campy take on the power of various outsider iconographies, with symbols of gay sexual desire and its relationship to seemingly mainstream American life. At just 17, Anger made Fireworks, one of the earliest examples of openly gay cinema. The film's protagonist, played by Anger himself, takes a dream-filled journey through his own unconscious in a tale that is at times comic, introspective and shocking.

Anger has been making films for more than 60 years, most of which are short, experimental works ranging from three to 60 minutes. His work has influenced contemporary filmmakers such as Martin Scorsese, David Lynch and Gus Van Sant. He has been honored with numerous awards, among them Lifetime Achievement Awards from the American Film Institute and Anthology Film Archive.

Filmmaker Maximilian Le Cain wrote: "Anger forged a body of work as dazzlingly poetic in its unique visual intensity as it is narratively innovative. In many ways, these wordless films represent the resurgence and development of the uniquely cinematic qualities widely considered retarded or destroyed by the passing of the silent era."

The events are co-sponsored by the IU Cinema and The Kinsey Institute for Research in Sex, Gender and Reproduction. All films that are being screened for these events are held within the Kinsey collection and were personally donated by the filmmakers.