AAFF 50th: Retrospective Screening #1

Alice Anne Parker, (a.k.a. Anne Severson), first made waves in the international film community four decades ago. The San Francisco filmmaker shocked audiences with a handful of films, which culminated with her 1971 film NEAR THE BIG CHAKRA. The 17-minute film features 37 static shots of vulvaes ranging in age from three months to 56 years and provoked a riot at the 1972 Ann Arbor Film Festival when it screened as the closing film for that year's festival. A melee ensued during the film's showing as some audience members rushed the projection booth, wrangling with others who prevented the film from being stopped.


The film went on to gain international notoriety and Severson’s films have influenced several generations of filmmakers, artists, and feminists. In 1974 Parker was chosen for a one-person retrospective at the Whitney Museum of American Art. Parker's films have screened as part of the New York Film Festival, Cannes Film Festival, San Francisco International Film Festival, Toronto Film Festival and many more. 


Forty years after this legendary screening, the AAFF is bringing Parker and her films back to Ann Arbor for the first of five retrospective screenings in celebration of the festival's 50th Anniversary, taking place March 27 - April 1, 2012. Parker made six films, from 1969 through 1974. She will present five of these, from her earliest film - the humorous I CHANGE I AM THE SAME to RIVERBODY (winner of Best Film at the 1971 AAFF) to her last film, the evocative short THE STRUGGLE OF THE MEAT. Parker will also present a handful of other historic works by her peers.

Festival Program Director, David Dinnell, said he chose to start the series with Parker and her films in part because "Alice Anne Parker made six short films in just 5 years in the late 60s and early 70's. The Ann Arbor Film Festival has always been a space for film as an art form, and Parker's films embody a deeply personal filmmaking, coming out of a time of a radical exploration of sexuality, gender, and the representation of bodies. The humor and curiosity in Parker's films still resonates to this day. Although the films are of a specific time, they still retain their power after more than three decades."

Parker will present her films at the Michigan Theater Thursday, September 22nd at 7:30pm and take part in a conversation with University of Michigan professor and performance artist Holly Hughes following the screening. Tickets are $10 for general admission; $7 for students, seniors and Michigan Theater members; AAFF members received $5 admission. Advanced tickets are available through Brown Paper Tickets here on our website.

Posted on September 07th, 2011