Film curator Mark Webber on Owen Land: “Owen Land (formerly known as George Landow) was one of the most original American filmmakers of the 1960s and 1970s. His works fused an intellectual sense of reason with the irreverent wit that distances them from the supposedly ‘boring’ world of avant-garde film. His early materialist works anticipated Structural Film, the definition of which provoked his rejection of film theory and convention. Having explored the physical qualities of the celluloid strip, his attention turned to the spectator in a series of ‘literal’ films that question the illusionary nature of cinema through the use of elaborate wordplay and visual ambiguity.”
Land’s 1968 The Film That Rises to the Surface of Clarified Butter was particularly strange, beautiful, and humorous. Photo stills of the 9 minute film shown here.