Bizarre 60s/70s art film ID
November 4, 2013 9:53 AM   Subscribe

Probably a long shot, but here goes. In '88 or '89, I attended a scholarship-paid class at the Art Institute of Chicago. All the students were high schoolers. The class was referred to as "Time Arts" and was about multi media art. During the workshop portion of classes, our instructor would have various films playing at one end of the studio, just as background imagery and conversation starters. Pretty sure he pulled them from the school's library. I would like to identify one of these films. My description of what I remember inside, so if you know 60s-70s avant-garde (probably short) art films, please help.

I remember it was largely closeup and midrange shots of people in crazy, colorful costumes and makeup. Garish, saturated and vivid colors. Really, really elaborate and over the top... think metallic eyelashes with glass beads as an example. The style and film quality seemed 60s-70s to me, though it could have been the 80s. I don't think there was dialog, just these actors moving slowly while operatic-style music played. It may have been Diamanda Galas music, though not sure. It was shot pretty straight. No FX or processing tricks that I can recall. Just bizarre, gorgeous and unsettling.

Again, it was running in the background and I never saw the beginning or end. Wish I had asked what it was but didn't. Would have come most likely from the SotAI film library... pretty sure it was actual reel-to-reel film in a projector, too.

Like I said, a long shot. Anyone have any ideas what this might be? It haunts me in a strange way and would like to watch it again in its entirety. Thanks.
posted by jeff-o-matic to Media & Arts (6 answers total) 8 users marked this as a favorite
Kenneth Anger's "Inauguration of the Pleasure Dome"? It seems to have had different soundtracks depending on the version, but maybe this jogs a memory.
posted by Ms. Toad at 10:44 AM on November 4, 2013 [4 favorites]

It wasn't part of the cremaster cycle was it?
posted by juv3nal at 10:45 AM on November 4, 2013

The SAIC still has that film collection. The current Media Collections Manager is Carolyn Faber (staff directory). Perhaps she'd be able to help you identify some of the films you saw.
posted by bubukaba at 11:08 AM on November 4, 2013

It might have been home grown. The SAIC students and faculty shot tons
of film and video at that time, and had access to its own theater department
for performers, costuming, etc.
posted by Chitownfats at 11:27 AM on November 4, 2013

The Kuchar Brothers' Sins of the Fleshapoids?
posted by Clustercuss at 12:01 PM on November 4, 2013

Kenneth Anger : Inauguration Of The Pleasure Dome may indeed have been it! I need to watch more of it when I get home. I remember more closeups, but it's a foggy memory.
posted by jeff-o-matic at 12:02 PM on November 4, 2013

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