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Last modified: Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Lecture, screenings at IU Cinema focused on filmmaker Shirley Clarke's 'cool world'

Oct. 17, 2012

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. -- Art film distributor Dennis Doros will discuss his company's restoration of Shirley Clarke's 1967 film "Portrait of Jason" during an upcoming Jorgensen Guest Filmmaker Lecture at IU Cinema, and the cinema will screen three of Clarke's films.

Shirley Clarke for IU Cinema Film Series

Shirley Clarke

Print-Quality Photo

Doros helped found Milestone Films, an independent film distributor that has gained an international reputation for releasing classic cinema masterpieces, documentaries and American independent features. He'll speak at 3 p.m. Nov. 2 at the cinema, giving the same lecture about Clarke he presented at the Berlin International Film Festival earlier this year.

Clarke's films have been described as essential works of New American Cinema. Part of the burgeoning post-war American film movement, she is considered one of the most important female directors of that period. Clarke was one of the first to sign -- and the only woman to do so -- the New American Cinema manifesto in 1961, which declared a desire for independent film expression.

"The title of this series -- 'Shirley Clarke's Cool World' -- is an apt homage to the director whose oeuvre poignantly embodies, as it champions, the avant-garde and American independent filmmaking," said Michael T. Martin, director of the Black Film Center/Archive at Indiana University, which helped sponsor the series. "To boot, Clarke's gendered and experimental yet always-on-the-mark take on all things sexual, racial and, yes, unconventional is her legacy and our debt."

IU Cinema will screen three of Clarke's films:

  • 7 p.m. Nov. 1, "The Connection." This adaptation of a controversial play portrays a group of musicians and filmmakers waiting in a New York loft apartment for their drug connection, and features Beat dialogue blended with jazz written by Freddie Redd.
  • 6:30 p.m. Nov. 2, "Ornette: Made in America." Documentary footage chronicles jazz musician Ornette Coleman's boyhood in segregated Texas through his emergence as an American cultural pioneer and icon, and includes contributors William Burroughs, Buckminster Fuller and Yoko Ono.
  • 9:30 p.m. Nov. 2, "Robert Frost: A Lover's Quarrel With the World." An intimate portrait of one of America's great 20th-century poets, captured shortly before his death at 88; including studies of his work, scenes of life in rural Vermont and personal reminiscences about his career.

"Dennis Doros is an important guest for our Jorgensen Lecture Series," IU Cinema director Jon Vickers said. "With the university's dedication to preservation, and more recently digitization, of its film collections, it is important for the cinema's guests to cover this part of the industry. More importantly, Dennis and Milestone Films have resurrected so many films, often sparking renewed interest in important filmmakers such as Shirley Clarke and Charles Burnett."

The films and Doros' lecture are free, but ticketed. Tickets can be obtained at the IU Auditorium Box Office from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday, or one hour before each screening at the cinema.

The film series is sponsored by Department of Communication and Culture, Black Film Center/Archive, the Film and Media Studies program and IU Cinema. The Jorgensen Guest Filmmaker Lecture series is made possible through the support of the Ove W Jorgensen Foundation.