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Date & Time

Thursday, April 20, 2017
7:00 PM


Logan Center, Screening Room 201



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Film Studies Center


The Film Studies Center and the Chicago Cinema Society present a rare screening of two of photographer Danny Lyon’s nonfiction films. Born to Film (1982, 33 min.) is a funny and ethereal autobiographical meditation on filmmaking and fatherhood, in which the two are more intertwined than a bull snake in a bin full of celluloid. Made over the course of several years, Willie (1985, 82 min., newly restored print) follows Willie Jaramillo, whom Lyon met as a child near his home in Bernalillo, New Mexico (he appears in two of his previous films, Llanito [1971] and Little Boy [1977]) as he repeatedly cycles in and out of prison for minor offenses. The film is a dignified and heartbreaking portrait in which the quotidian is just as memorable as the bizarre. There is an emotional depth and compassion to the film often not felt in works about “outsiders” (a frequent subject in Lyon’s photographs and films). It’s clear that Willie wasn’t just a subject, but a friend, and as he speaks to Danny through the camera he reminds us, “This is my life we’re talking about.”

(Danny Lyon, USA, 1982/85, 115 min., 16mm from Anthology Film Archives)