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The Cinema of Edward Owens (12A*)

Experiments in Film

A still from Edward Owens

Working in the late 60s, Edward Owens created a series of films which were largely forgotten until re-discovery in 2009. This is the first chance to see all four of Owens' films together in the UK.

Owens was a teen living in New York when he created these 16mm works, which reflect some of the purveying trends in late 60s experimental cinema. They remain highly personal engagements with his environments, particularly Private Imaginings and Narrative Facts and Remembrance: A Portrait Study, his strongest works, which are portraits of his mother and her circle of friends. 
 
As a queer African American filmmaker, working in the 60s, his films are rare examples of a Black queer voice and viewing them over five decades after they were created, they remain fascinating, fleeting glimpses of an artist whom, by 1970, would leave New York, leave film behind and remain largely forgotten, until rediscovery by curator Ed Halter in 2009, two months before he would pass away aged 60.
 

Programme

Tomorrow's Promise
Here Owens attempts to tell a story solely through the interaction between images, abandoning conventional narration. The resulting film is an elliptical, moody, experience of the tale of a doomed romance.

US 1967 Dir Edward Owens 44.75 min

Remembrance: A Portrait Study
A montage of images of the artist's mother and her circle of friends and acquaintances juxtaposed with fragments of pop songs.

US 1967 Dir Edward Owens 6 min

Private Imaginings and Narrative Facts
A silent portrait of a series of individuals framed in interior seemingly domestic spaces. Owen's mother again appears throughout the film.

US 1966 Dir Edward Owens 6 min

Autre Fois J'ai Aime Une Femme
Owens first film contains a series of super impositions and fleeting images of bodies suggesting illicit desire and demonstrates a use of baroque lighting which occurs across the programme.

US 1966 Dir Edward Owens 24 min

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Barbican Cinema 2