”Art and Language” is the theme for the new season of Schnitzer Cinema

EUGENE, Ore. -- (September 18, 2012) – “Art and Language” is the theme of this season’s Schnitzer Cinema series, complementing the exhibitions “Lesley Dill’s Poetic Visions: From Shimmer to Sister Gertrude Morgan” and “Good Grief! A Selection of Original Art from 50 Years of Charles M. Schulz’s PEANUTS.” Cosponsored with the Cinema Pacific film festival, Schnitzer Cinema is the JSMA's monthly showcase for adventurous cinema, featuring screenings and live Skype dialogues with special guests.  Schnitzer Cinema screenings, on the second Wednesday of each month at 7:00 p.m., are free and include free popcorn and soda.


The season opens with a screening of ““Beauty is Embarrassing” on Wednesday, October 10 at 7 p.m. The film screening will be followed by a live Skype interview with artist Wayne White.  Admission is free.


“The museum’s exhibitions this season inspired me to select new films that highlight ‘art and language,’ from the word paintings of artist Wayne White in ‘Beauty is Embarrassing” to the Beat poetry of Diane DiPrima in ‘The Poetry Deal,’ ” says Richard Herskowitz, series curator and director of Cinema Pacific.

Part biography, part live performance, “Beauty Is Embarrassing” is a funny, irreverent, and inspiring documentary on artist Wayne White, a designer, painter, puppeteer, sculptor, and musician. The film traces White’s career from his start as an underground cartoonist in New York’s East Village to his big break as a designer, puppeteer and voice-over actor on “Pee-wee’s Playhouse,” for which he won three Emmy’s.  It follows Wayne’s success designing and animating for other children’s shows like “Beakman’s World” and music videos for The Smashing Pumpkins (“Tonight, Tonight”) and Peter Gabriel (“Big Time”) through a dark period of struggle and self-reflection before emerging in his present-day incarnation as a respected painter and performer.  Director Neil Berkeley discovered hours of video which White shot throughout his career including never-before-seen behind the scenes footage of the making of “Pee-wee’s Playhouse,” now included in the film. The film, like White, embraces the ragged edges and messy contradictions of life, art, and family with biting humor and honesty.


The season continues with a screening of “The Connection” featuring a Skype dialogue with film preservationist Dennis Doros on November 14. “The Connection,” the first feature film, by Shirley Clarke, takes on a controversial play by Jack Gelber that was running off-Broadway, performed by the Living Theatre. It was a play within a play within a jazz concert. It portrayed a group of drug addicts, some of them jazz musicians, waiting in a New York loft apartment for their drug connection. A producer and a writer, meanwhile, have entered their lives to study them and write a play about them. The brilliantly written Beat dialogue was blended with jazz music written and performed by the great pianist Freddie Redd.


On December 7, the season closes honoring the 40th anniversary of film distributor Women Make Movies, and features two of their latest releases, both addressing the work of courageous poets. “Poetry of Resilience” is a documentary by Academy Award-nominated director Katja Esson about six international poets who individually survived Hiroshima, the Holocaust, China’s Cultural Revolution, the Kurdish Genocide in Iraq, the Rwandan Genocide, and the Iranian Revolution. “The Poetry Deal: A Film with Diane di Prima” is an impressionistic document on the great Beat poet. The screening includes a Skype dialogue with Women Make Movies executive director Debra Zimmerman


All films will be screened in the Jordan Schnitzer Museum of Art Ford Lecture Hall. Schnitzer Cinema is brought to you in partnership with Cinema Pacific and the Jordan Schnitzer Museum of Art.



About the Jordan Schnitzer Museum of Art

The University of Oregon's Jordan Schnitzer Museum of Art is a premier Pacific Northwest museum for exhibitions and collections of historic and contemporary art based in a major university setting. The mission of the museum is to enhance the University of Oregon’s academic mission and to further the appreciation and enjoyment of the visual arts for the general public.  The JSMA features significant collections galleries devoted to art from China, Japan, Korea, America and elsewhere as well as changing special exhibition galleries.  The JSMA is one of six museums in Oregon accredited by the American Association of Museums.


The Jordan Schnitzer Museum of Art is located on the University of Oregon campus at 1430 Johnson Lane. Museum hours are 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. Wednesdays, and 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesdays and Thursdays through Sundays. Admission is $5 for adults and $3 for senior citizens. Free admission is given to ages 18 and under, JSMA members, college students with ID, and University of Oregon faculty, staff and students. For information, contact the JSMA, 541-346-3027.


About the University of Oregon

The University of Oregon is among the 108 institutions chosen from 4,633 U.S. universities for top-tier designation of "Very High Research Activity" in the 2010 Carnegie Classification of Institutions of Higher Education. The UO also is one of two Pacific Northwest members of the Association of American Universities.


Contact: Debbie Williamson Smith, 541-346-0942,


Link: Jordan Schnitzer Museum of Art,

            Cinema Pacific,