THE FILM GENERATION: ON DANCE

(1969) (7 x RT 60:00)
(Produced and Directed by Perry Miller Adato)

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The Film Generation was the first major TV series on the creative work of independent filmmakers.  It included a student film by then unknown director George Lucas, and a student film made by Roman Polanski.  Six of the programs in the series were directed by Jac Venza; The Film Generation: On Dance was directed by Perry Miller Adato.

Perry Miller Adato co-produced with Jac Venza The Film Generation, a seven-part compilation series with filmmaker interviews.  Adato and Venza conceived the series based on their awareness of the growing number of intriguing short films made by independent and experimental filmmakers and film students that were unprogrammable on their own.  Selected films with related themes or subjects  (eg. dance, film, visual arts, war), were grouped together and introduced by the filmmaker on-camera. What unified the films was that they were all self-expressions by an artist who was not waiting for that job at the studio. All these young filmmakers needed was a camera and an idea that they were passionate about. Also featured were underground classics related to a program’s theme, made by distinguished independent filmmakers.

THE FILM GENERATION: ON DANCE

(1969) (RT 60:00)
(Produced and Directed by Perry Miller Adato)

Many experimental and avant-garde filmmakers have found dance an especially appealing subject, offering movement in space, male and female bodies in motion and opportunities for creative invention with choreographers and dancers.  The Film Generation: On Dance featured brilliant examples of the genre by some of the leading avant-garde filmmakers of their time.  From Shirley Clarke whose daring experiments in the 1940’s made her a noted figure in the field, to Hilary Harris’ 9 Variations on A Dance Theme (1967), an abstract film about a modern dancer, the program features films which pushed the boundaries of dance on film.  Norman McLaren is famed for his trailblazing animation for the National Film Board of Canada.  His innovative work goes beyond animation to include this poetic dance film Pas De Deux.  Ed Emshwiller who created multi-media performance pieces and experiments in cine-dance is among the pioneers of the New American Cinema of the 1960’s to 1970’s.  His films are shown for the first time on television in The Film Generation: On Dance.

CREDITS

Producer: Jac Venza
Co-Producer & Director: Perry Miller Adato
Writer: Richard Schickel
Narrator: Alan Alda
Associate Producer: David Loxton
Editor: Victoria HochbergParticipants:
Ed Emshwiller
Shirley Clarke
Hilary Harris
Norman McLaren

Footlight Parade by Busby Berkeley, Courtesy of United Artists

Moment in Love by Shirley Clarke
Choreography by Anna Sokolow
Dancers: Paul Sanasardo, Carmen Gutieriez

Selection from the Nutcracker Suite sequence from Walt Disney’s Fantasia
c. MCMXL Walt Disney Productions
Leopold Stokowski Conducting the Philadelphia Orchestra

Neighbors and Pas de Deux by Norman McLaren

Our thanks to:
National Film Board of Canada and Columbia Pictures for Pas De Deux,
and Neighbors
7 Surprizes produced by Harvey Chertok and NFB
Totem by Ed Emshwiller with Alwin Nikolais Dance Company
Nine Variations on a Dance Theme by Hilary Harris
Dancer: Betty de Jongh

A production of National Educational Television
c. 1968 National Educational Television and Radio Center. All Rights reserved.