Two Dream Films by Richard Myers
Ohio filmmaker Richard Myers has been creating a unique and powerful cinema for five decades, producing several short and feature 16mm works that have shown internationally, winning numerous awards worldwide. Although Richard Myers (b. 1937) is the author of some engaged political works and a series of sensitive and unusual film portraits, he is perhaps most known for his remarkable dream-logic narrative films, such as Akran (1969), Monstershow (1996), and tonight’s two featured films, The Path (1961) and 37-73 (1974).
These works evocatively display Myers’ intensely intuitive, subtle grasp of the nuances and mysteries of our individual and collective dream lives. The films are vividly cinematic, often with very elaborate staging and surprising special effects, though these methods are always employed with subtlety and never as frivolous windowdressing. Myers deeply understands the nature of cinema as perhaps our most powerful dream device, both devilish and divine, and he fully employs the texture and technology of the medium to mine a rich lode of our subconscious. His trademark breathtaking cinematography is used to restrained and brilliant effect, aware of the power of the understated. His fluid, complex editing, often exploring motifs of repetition and variation, with a keen attention to spoken and written language, further unlocks what would be an otherwise unrealizable world. Myers is a master at uniting his subjective dreamworld with that of each viewer, to suggest a co-existing (and quite expansive) dream landscape that is American Midwestern in flavor, but nearly universal and hauntingly ambiguous at its essence.
This show is the second in a trio of in-person screenings with Mr. Myers and featuring a comprehensive selection of his work, the first being Friday, June 25 at NewTown Pasadena, and the third on Sunday, June 27 at Filmforum at The Egyptian Theater.
(1961, b/w, 16mm, silent, 20min.)
“Light as the symbol of the ineffable. The ‘plot’ of this subjective recreation of a dream seems to concern a mysterious journey; the spectator, however, is visually directed toward forms and substances rather than to the protagonists by a filmmaker who is a master of visionary cinema.” (Amos Vogel, Film as a Subversive Art)
“Richard Myers has, thru his films, given us the ONLY consistently creative variable to dream-thinking in our time. All else, in film, slides toward surrealism and/or props itself with misplaced Freudian symbols, at best, or else gets lost in the Jung-le, at the verses. Myers’ work is rooted in what he doesn’t know about, just exactly what he knows - his own home grounds mid-America, and like D.W. Griffith he takes the great risk of being native to his art, attending it on its home-grown grounds/his-UNowned-dreams.” (Stan Brakhage)
(1974, b/w, 16mm, sound, 60min.)
With Jake Leed, Kelly Myers, Mary Leed, Marjory Myers, “Da” Croft.
“Richard Myers’ 37-73 was far and away the most noteworthy film in the Exposition (9th Annual Independent Filmmakers Exposition). In fact, Richard Myers is, in my opinion, one of the few innovative conceptually oriented filmmakers in the country. As powerful and complex as is AKRAN, 37-73 is more taut, richer in associative meaning .... 37-73 is about dreams, about memory and its associations with nightmare and magic.” (Owen Shapiro)
“I think 37-73 is an extraordinary work, and the best of [Myers’] long films. I am astonished by [his] skill in image making, and his power to evoke the crazy pain of being an artist. It is a haunting work, with unforgettable scenes ....” (James Broughton)
Program curated by Mark Toscano.
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