Selected Short Films by Homer Groening/Hollywood Theatre, Jan. 17, 2015, 7:00 PM

On Jan. 17, 2015, Mid Century Oregon Genius will present an evening of selected short films by the award winning independent filmmaker Homer Groening. Two time Oscar nominee Bill Plympton will introduce.

After the films, Lisa Groening will moderate a panel discussion about Homer Groening’s life and work. Panelists will include Tom Shrader, who worked with Homer Groening; Ted Mahar, friend of Homer Groening; Bill Plympton, who was encouraged by Homer Groening, and inspired by him.

(Anne notes: A surprise addition that night was Matt Groening. Matt and Lisa curated the films we saw, and took turns introducing them onstage, to the immense delight of a full house of newly created Homer Groening experts.)


Homer Groening was born in Main Centre, Saskatchewan, Canada, grew up in Albany, and based his career in Portland.

More info about Homer Groening here.

Harry Smith’s Heaven And Earth Magic/Hollywood Theatre, Jan. 16, 2015, 7:00 PM

On Jan. 16, 2015, Oregon Cartoon Institute returns to the Hollywood Theatre with film historian Dennis Nyback’s recreation of Harry Smith’s expanded cinema masterpiece HEAVEN AND EARTH MAGIC (1962).

Eric Isaacson, who recently reissued Harry Smith’s Anthology of American Folk Music on his Mississippi Records label, and Chuck Pirtle, a Harry Smith historian, will join Nyback for a post screening discussion.


Harry Smith grew up in Bellingham/Anacortes, learned to make films in San Francisco, and based his career in New York. He was born in Portland in 1923.

More info about Harry Smith here.

To see more stills of Heaven And Earth Magic, or of the 2013 Harry Smith Seance, visit this tumblr containing Paul Wolfe’s photo journalism of those events.

James Ivory Introduces Maurice/Hollywood Theatre, Oct. 10, 2014, 7:00 PM

On Oct. 10 at 7:00 PM, three time Oscar nominee James Ivory comes to Portland to introduce MAURICE (1987), starring James Wilby, Hugh Grant and Rupert Graves.

Handpicked by Ivory for the screening series, MAURICE is on the short list of films for which he also served as screenwriter (with Kit Hesketh-Harvey). James Ivory was born in Berkeley, grew up in Klamath Falls, and graduated from the University of Oregon.

“One of the few to whom one can unhesitatingly apply the phrase “citizen of the world””  Wallace Shawn


More info about James Ivory here.

Photo credit: Seth David Rubin

James Ivory’s Autobiography of a Princess/Hollywood Theatre, Oct. 11, 2014, 11:00 AM

On Oct. 11, at 11:00 AM at the Hollywood Theatre, James Ivory will introduce AUTOBIOGRAPHY OF A PRINCESS, starring Madhur Jaffrey and James Mason. Written by Ruth Prawer Jhabvala, produced by Ismail Merchant, and directed by James Ivory, AUTOBIOGRAPHY was made for British television.


Ivory was thinking of the post colonial theme of James Blue’s THE OLIVE TREES OF JUSTICE when he chose to bring AUTOBIOGRAPHY OF A PRINCESS to the Mid Century Oregon Genius screening series.

More info about James Ivory here.

Richard Blue Introduces The Olive Trees Of Justice/Hollywood Theatre, Oct. 11, 1:00 PM

On Oct. 11 at 1:00 PM, Richard Blue, the brother of director James Blue, will introduce THE OLIVE TREES OF JUSTICE, an extremely rare film which won the Critics Prize at Cannes in 1962. James Dormeyer, friend and colleague of James Blue, will co-introduce.

Pélégri and I wanted to show the complexity of any such situation; that it can’t be reduced to villainous people and good people – the good guys and the bad guys. How can a past, which seems so happy, produce this present which is in such chaotic form? James Blue

James Blue was Oregon’s first Oscar nominee. He was born in Tulsa, grew up in Portland, and graduated from the University of Oregon.

More info about James Blue here.


Richard Blue unveiled the new James and Richard Blue Foundation at the opening event of Mid Century Oregon Genius on Oct. 10, 2014. James Ivory, Tim Rhys and Claudia Johnson in the background.


James Blue, a life in conversation/Hollywood Theatre, Oct. 11, 2014, 2:30 PM


“He learned more by conversation than anyone I knew.” Gerald O’Grady

On Oct. 11, at 2:30 PM, following the screening of THE OLIVE TREES OF JUSTICE, three panelists who knew James Blue will talk us through his life. Using archival photos from the Blue Collection to structure the narrative, we will progress conversationally from Tulsa to Portland to Eugene to Paris, then to Algiers, where OLIVE TREES was made, and back to the US. Discussion will include his embrace of documentary, his 1969 Oscar nomination, and his dual identity as filmmaker and educator.

Panelists: Richard Blue, James Dormeyer, Gill Dennis.

More info about James Blue here.

This event cosponsored by The James and Richard Blue Foundation.