Out of the Archive Film Series--Once I Loved: The Experimental Films of Edward Owens

Out of the Archive Film Series--Once I Loved: The Experimental Films of Edward Owens promotional image

Please join us at FilmScene this fall for a monthly screening and discussion series, Out of the Archive: Envisioning Blackness. A continuation of conversations begun last spring in the inaugural Out of the Archive program, the series showcases the vibrant, multifaceted tradition of Black cinema by presenting rarely screened and/or recently restored films. Tickets are pay-what-you-can (with students, in particular, encouraged to pick $0). Join us before each screening for a free dinner reception catered by local restaurants, and stay after each film for post-screening conversations with UI community members and, whenever possible, the filmmakers themselves. Dinner receptions start at 6:15 p.m., with all screenings following at 7 p.m.

The fourth event in the 2023-24 series is special screening of experimental films by Edward Owens, with a post-screening conversation between Cinematic Arts PhD student Zachary Vanes and special guest scholar Emily Martin. Join us at 6:30 p.m. for a pre-screening dinner reception provided by Oasis. Please invite friends and colleagues; all are welcome! 


Autre fois, j’ai aimé une femme (Once I Loved a Woman) (1966): Owens’s first 16mm film, completed when he was only 17, recalls the work of Gregory Markopoulos in its elaborate superimpositions, but Autre fois presents a budding style that is also distinctly Owens’s own—a fragmentary cinema with flashes of photographs, overheard snatches of poetry, and abruptly edited selections from David Amram’s incidental music composed for After the Fall. The French title is an affectation; the film was shot in Chicago using Owens’s friends, including then-girlfriend Gloria Rich.

Tomorrow's Promise (1967): A rapid maturation of the fleeting and elusive style that Owens deployed in Autre fois months earlier, Tomorrow’s Promise is perhaps his most "conventional" work by the avant-garde standards of its era—a psychosexual exploration with theatrical, neoclassical, and mythopoetic overtones. Described by Owens as a film about vacantness, its form “so chimerical as life itself,” Tomorrow’s Promise plays today as one of the tonier underground movies of the late 1960s.

Remembrance: A Portrait Study (1967): Shot in Chicago with Owens’s mother, Mildred, and her friends Nettie Thomas and Irene Collins, Remembrance is an exuberant home movie that finds a new, more personal avenue for superimpositions and rapid cutting.

Private Imaginings and Narrative Facts (1968-70): This film continues the project of Remembrance, exploring the lives of Owens’s mother and her social circle with a delicate and lyrical assemblage. Originally titled Mildred Owens: Towards Fiction, this silent film was completed sometime around 1970, but not put into distribution until 1983.

For more on Edward Owens, see: https://www.chicagofilmsociety.org/preservation/the-films-of-edward-owen...


Reserve your tickets today at https://icfilmscene.org/.

Out of the Archive is presented by the African Diaspora Committee and is made possible through generous support from the following University of Iowa departments and units: the African American Studies Program, the Black Visual Culture Group, the Center for Human Rights, the Department of Anthropology, the Department of Cinematic Arts, the Department of Communication Studies, the Department of Dance, the Department of English, the Department of History, the Department of Spanish and Portuguese, the Department of Gender, Women's, and Sexuality Studies, the College of Education, the School of Journalism and Mass Communication, the School of Library and Information Science, the School of Music, and the Obermann Center for Advanced Studies. 

Tuesday, November 7, 2023 6:15pm
FilmScene (Chauncey)
Theatre 2
404 East College Street, Iowa City, IA 52240
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Individuals with disabilities are encouraged to attend all University of Iowa–sponsored events. If you are a person with a disability who requires a reasonable accommodation in order to participate in this program, please contact Hayley O'Malley in advance at 319-465-4372 or hayley-omalley@uiowa.edu.