Missing Allen | Chicago Reader

Missing Allen

Allen Ross, who cofounded Chicago Filmmakers in the early 1970s, vanished mysteriously in 1995, two years after he surprised friends by marrying alleged cult leader Linda Greene and leaving Chicago. German filmmaker Christian Bauer says that for both of them filmmaking was a “way of understanding the world,” and his 2001 documentary tries to unravel the story behind Ross's disappearance. Documentaries about failed quests are commonplace, but Bauer circles his subject with a poetic structure based on gaps and disjunctions, presences and absences (Allen's camera is found in storage, but where is he?). Ross emerges as a gentle spirit, loved by many, who apparently got in over his head with Greene and an ex-husband, each accusing the other of putting a bullet in Ross's skull. Bauer includes Greene's loopy (and creepy) writings, faxes, and phone messages: her published protocol for dealing with vampires included removing their genitals—which was done to Ross, whose remains were discovered in a Wyoming basement. 91 min.

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