Reverence: The Films of Owen Land, Program Two

Seven great films by the former Chicagoan, long unavailable, that show his love of puzzles, games, and incisive self-questioning. Many of the films mix humor and religious experience: a man prays in a supermarket in No Sir, Orison! (1975), whose title is a palindrome. Around 1969 the filmmaker, then known as George Landau, began using sharp, bright compositions to construct obscure narratives that critique materialism and undermine the sensuousness of his images. In Wide Angle Saxon (1975) the white Anglo-Saxon protagonist, bored by the “structural” film he's watching, begins to question his attraction to his possessions. The film he sees, by “Al Rutcurts,” is an uproarious parody of Hollis Frampton's (Nostalgia)—and of the egocentric need artists have to leave a mark on the world. 80 min.

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