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Reverence: The Films of Owen Land
Program One

Screening on Film
  • Remedial Reading Comprehension

    Directed by Owen Land.
    US, 1970, 16mm, color, 5 min.
    Print source: LUX

Landow rejects the dream imagery of the historical trance film for the self-referential present, using macrobiotics, the language of advertising, and a speed-reading test on the definition of hokum. The alienated filmmaker appears, running uphill to distance himself from the lyrical cinema, but remember, “This is a film about you, not about its maker.”

  • Fleming Faloon

    Directed by Owen Land (as George Landow).
    US, 1963, 16mm, color, 7 min.
    Print source: LUX

In his first 16mm film, Landow proposes that if we accept the reality offered to us by the illusion of depth on the flat plane of the screen, we can then assign reality to anything at will.  A cinematic equivalent of the illusionistic portraiture of the Flemish painters.

  • Film in Which There Appear Edge Lettering, Sprocket Holes, Dirt Particles, Etc.

    Directed by Owen Land (as George Landow).
    US, 1965, 16mm, color, silent, 4 min.
    Print source: LUX

The "imperfections" of filmmaking, normally suppressed, are at the core of a work that uses a brief loop made from a Kodak color test. “The dirtiest film ever made” is one of the earliest examples of the film material dictating the film content.

  • Bardo Follies

    Directed by Owen Land (as George Landow).
    US, 1967-76, 16mm, color, silent, 20 min.
    Print source: LUX

A shot of a Southern Belle waving to a group of tourists on a pleasure boat ride is looped, multiplied and then melted, creating psychedelic abstract images. “A paraphrasing of certain sections of the Tibetan Book of the Dead in motion picture terms.”

  • What’s Wrong With This Picture? 1

    Directed by Owen Land (as George Landow).
    US, 1971, 16mm, color and b&w, 5 min.
    Print source: LUX

A found, utilitarian object, the overtly moralizing educational film “How to be a Good Citizen,” is elevated to the status of ‘art’. First presented unaltered and then in Landow’s color facsimile, the film is further modified by applying an opaque matte that creates a spatial paradox.

  • What’s Wrong With This Picture? 2

    Directed by Owen Land (as George Landow).
    US, 1972, 16mm, color and b&w, 7 min.
    Print source: LUX

As Landow and his students were testing a new video camera, an elderly man began to talk to them about new technology. This impromptu conversation forms the basis for a comparison of spoken and written language.

  • Institutional Quality

    Directed by Owen Land (as George Landow).
    US, 1969, 16mm, color, 5 min.
    Print source: LUX

Constructed around a found soundtrack in which a strict female voice delivers a test of perception and comprehension, Institutional Quality’s sound and image relationship become detached as the filmmakerloses interest in his subject.

  • 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 Wholed?

    Directed by Owen Land (as George Landow).
    US, 1977-79, 16mm, color, 18 min.
    Print source: LUX

One of Landow’s most complex films, On The Marriage Broker Joke features a disparate cast of characters which include two pandas making and discussing an avant-garde film about the marketing of Japanese salted plums.

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Reverence: The Films of Owen Land

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