Queer Productions and Experimental Media are the Focus of Schnitzer Cinema 2015-16 Season

This annual film series begins on Wednesday, October 14 with guest filmmaker and Jack Smith archivist Jerry Tartaglia


EUGENE, Ore. -- (September 28, 2015) – The 2015-16 season of the Schnitzer Cinema will be devoted to American experimental media, with a special emphasis on the history of Queer Productions.  Programmed by Richard Herskowitz, director of Cinema Pacific and JSMA Curator of Media Arts, with the help of Professor Quinn Miller, all films begin at 7 p.m. at the Jordan Schnitzer Museum of Art on the University of Oregon campus and include free refreshments.


“Media art that challenges the “normalcy” of conventional gender roles and Hollywood film style has long been a vital sector of the experimental media art scene,” says Herskowitz. “The series is part of a larger yearlong “Queer Productions” project supported by the English Department and the College of Arts and Sciences that includes classes, guest artists and scholars, a symposium, and an exhibition by Zachary Drucker in spring 2015.”


On Wednesday, October 14, the series opens with “Jack Smith and Queer Theatre” including special guest Jerry Tartaglia, a filmmaker and Jack Smith archivist. Tartaglia presents newly restored films from the Jack Smith Archive, courtesy of Gladstone Gallery, New York City and Brussels. Jack Smith was one of the most accomplished and influential underground artists in the 1960s, ’70s, and ’80s and a key figure in the cultural history of film, performance, photography, and art in America.


In his filmmaking, Smith created a sense of "aesthetic delirium” through his use of outdated film stock and baroque subject matter. His best-known film, “Flaming Creatures” (1963), an excerpt of which will be screened, became the subject of a protracted legal battle over its alleged pornographic content.  Also included in the program is “Midnight At The Plaster Foundation,” the only known complete recording of a Jack Smith performance; “Milk Bath Scene from Normal Love” and “In the Grip of the Lobster”, two collaborations by Smith with superstar Mario Montez; and “Hamlet in the Rented World (A Fragment).”


Tartaglia will also presents a short segment from his own work-in-progress that features previously unheard audio material of Smith talking about his aesthetic.


On Wednesday, November 4, Schnitzer Cinema presents “It Came From Kuchar” plus two video diaries by George Kuchar. George and Mike Kuchar grew up in the Bronx in the 1950s and at the age of twelve, they became obsessed with Hollywood melodramas. They began making their own films with their aunt’s 8mm camera and used their friends and family as actors and their Bronx neighborhood as their set. In the early 1960s, alongside Andy Warhol, the Kuchar brothers shaped the New York underground film scene. Their films were wildly funny but also human and vulnerable. “It Came From Kuchar” interweaves the brothers’ lives, their admirers, a history of underground film, and a “greatest hits” of Kuchar clips into a mesmerizing tale. Supplementing the feature are “The Guzzler of Grizzly Manor” and “Atrium of the Omni-Orb,” two of Kuchar’s video diaries.


Cinema Pacific’s Schnitzer Cinema series is cosponsored by Academic Affairs, College of Arts and Sciences, and Department of English.


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. 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,


Links: Jordan Schnitzer Museum of Art,