Now Available on DVD: Films By Richard Myers

Posted July 21st, 2014 in Announcements, New DVDs, News / Events

Several new compilations of Richard Myers’ work are now available to purchase on DVD!

1. Three Films By Richard Myers: The Path, First Time Here, and Coronation

The Path (1961| 20 minutes | B&W | Silent)

“Light as the symbol of the ineffable. The ‘plot’ of this subjective recreation of a dream seems to concern a mysterious journey; the spectator, however, is visually directed toward forms and substances rather than to the protagonists by a filmmaker who is a master of visionary cinema.” – Amos Vogel, Film as a Subversive Art

First Time Here (1964 | 24 minutes | B&W | Sound)

FIRST TIME HERE is not realistic; neither is it purely illusory.It is a fantasy which alienates itself from the “real” world and takes us on a journey through the glitter-cardboard prop world of a carnival exhibit which shows “effects” of an atomic bomb on a mock city. Through particular details we see an organic and continuous chain of events which lead to an actual atomic blast. Through many generalized images the main theme of renewal is stated, FIRST TIME HERE is a celebration of the “mess” we have gotten ourselves into.

Coronation (1965 | 23 minutes | B&W | Sound)

“Richard Myers is one of the most talented and one of the most unknown filmmakers in the country. Personally and geographically isolated from the hysterical film propaganda machine, we seldom hear his name; aside from the Ann Arbor Film Festival and its related tour, we never see his films. In the same sense that Bruce Baillie’s MASS is generally regarded to be the film masterpiece of 1964, Myers’ CORONATION ranks with the two or three very best experimental films of 1965. No experimental film that I know of can compare with it from the standpoint of sheer spectacle. In this respect it ranks with HOLLYWOOD, and in this respect I can pay CORONATION no greater compliment. Its rapid-fire narrative moves with the variety of news items found in a big city newspaper when on Monday morning it recounts the carnage of the weekend.” – George Manupelli, director and filmmaker, Ann Arbor Film Festival

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2. Three Film Portraits: Akbar, Bill and Ruby, DA

Akbar (1970 | 16 minutes | Color | Sound)

A conversation with a friend – Ahmed Akbar. A short interview-type film portrait with Akbar, a black filmmaker and former student of mine at Kent State. AKBAR expresses an unusual and exciting view of himself/blacks in America/and such varied subjects as “This moon race Shit!”

Bill and Ruby (1970 | 34 minutes | Color | Sound)

Bill and Ruby own a novelty store in Akron, Ohio. This film explores their world and their relationships to the objects in the store and to each other. Bill talks about the Depression, Baby Ruth candy bars, LBJ’s “stomach,” Milton Berle’s “Chatter Teeth,” and one of his best customers, a mental hospital in the Midwest. Ruby models Jackie Kennedy masks, wigs, oriental hats, the phenomenal MAD MONSTER.

Da (1973 | 40 minutes | B&W | Sound)

Nora Belle West Croft … better known as “Da,” is my 90-year-old grandmother who has appeared in my other films (FIRST TIME HERE, AKRAN, & 37-73). This film is in the form of conversation-interview … with her early recollections of Massilon, Ohio where I was born and where she has spent the last 65 years of her life. The film also has many early photographs of Massilon, Ohio (courtesy of the Massilon Museum) … and many early photos from Da’s personal album …. She is an extraordinary person … at 90, vital and alive …. I have loved her all my life and I hope the film reveals some of her warmth and humor ….

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3. Confrontation at Kent State and Allison

Confrontation at Kent State (1970 | 43 minutes | B&W | Sound)

On Monday afternoon, May 4, 1970, four students on Kent State’s campus were shot to death and many others seriously wounded by members of the Ohio National Guard. After that tragedy, some members of the faculty and student body of Kent State put together a motion picture which documents this confrontation. The filmmakers interviewed the people in the town of Kent, students, and faculty of the university, and a member of the National Guard . . . And they asked all these people the question “Do you think that the shooting of the students at Kent was justified?” The answers they received form the content of the film . . . and these answers raise disturbing questions about the nature of our society.

Allison (1970 | 10 minutes | B&W | Sound)

A ‘portrait’ of Allison Krause, one of the studnets murdered at Kent State University on May 4, 1970 by the Ohio National Guard. It is a memorial film put together out of footage I and other students had filmed of Allison (unknowingly at the time) during student demonstrations. The film’s images are very simple but the soundtrack read by Arthur Krause, Allison’s father, is deeply moving.

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4. Tarp, Zocalo, Wood Assemblage

Tarp (1993 | 20 minutes | Color | Sound)

Most of my longer films have been based on dreams and have been of a personal semi-autobiographical nature. Tarp represents my interest in more simple/basic visual themes: Color, shape, and “found object” filmmaking. I began “recording” all of the tarps in my immediate neighborhood and surrounding cities – tarps over cars and boats and campers, tarps as tents, on trucks and hanging from overpasses on freeways. The fragmented result still maintains a dream-like tone, yet speaks about the mysterious way we Americans cover-up and protect things and the strange locations in which we do it.

Zocalo (1972 | 15 minutes | Color | Sound)

ZOCALO is a color, optically-printed experiment that uses as its base the Zocalo Square in Mexico City. Unlike my other films … it began as a class experiment … and because of my feelings towards the square itself … pursued it in all its variations … finished in December 1972.

Wood Assemblage (1962 | 14 minutes | Color | Sound)

A children’s art project done at the Norton, Ohio elementary schools in 1962. Using scrap wood the 4th, 5th, and 6th graders plan and make wooden sculptures that have a primitive totem-like quality. Professors James M. Someroski and Marlene Mancini Frost of Kent State University assisted in the making of the film. Professor Fred Coulter composed and played the music.

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