When Will Vinton and Bob Gardiner won their Oscar in 1975, independent filmmaking in Oregon seemed to be entering a new stage. But the truth is that Oregon already had produced four successful independent filmmakers: James Ivory (b. 1928), James Blue (1930-1980), Harry Smith (1923-1991) and Homer Groening (1919-1996). All four artists emerged a decade before Vinton and Gardiner made their breakthrough film.

Ivory made his cinematic debut from India.

Blue made his from Algeria.

Smith made his from New York City.

Groening remained in Portland, splitting his time between his advertising work and his short art films, which he sent to film festivals around the world.

Mid Century Oregon Genius unites these four Oregon mid-century film artists under one umbrella. One film is shot in an Algerian war zone. One stars a Hollywood heart throb. One was made on an animation stand which doubled as a bed for the filmmaker. Some are shot underwater.

Funded by grants from Kinsman Foundation and Miller Foundation, Mid Century Oregon Genius  will take place Oct. 10 & 11, 2014 and Jan. 16 & 17, 2015 at the Hollywood Theatre in Portland, Oregon.

Tickets will be available at http://hollywoodtheatre.org.

Mid Century Oregon Genius is curated by Anne Richardson, publisher of Oregon Movies, A to Z and director of Oregon Cartoon Institute. It is fiscally sponsored by Oregon Cultural Heritage Commission.

Q: What is Oregon Cartoon Institute/Oregon Movies, A to Z?

A: Oregon Cartoon Institute/Oregon Movies, A to Z creates public history/arts education events designed to raise awareness of Oregon’s rich film, animation and cartooning history. It has no brick and mortar presence, and always works in partnership with organizations and institutions which do.

Anne Richardson, director

Dennis Nyback, consultant

Josh Winsor, graphic design & video

Taz Loomans, event manager

Michael Palmieri & Donal Mosher, special assignment

Many thanks to

Bill Failing, Oregon Historical Society

James “The Fixer” Fox,  University of Oregon Special Collections

Richard and Dan Blue,  James & Richard Blue Foundation

Sheldon Renan, inspiration

James Ivory, advice

Bill Plympton, steadfast support

Lisa Groening, patience

Justen Harn, Hollywood Theatre

David Milholland, Oregon Cultural Heritage Commission

Charlotte Rubin, Oregon Cultural Heritage Commission

Martha Richards, Miller Foundation

Sara Bailey, Kinsman Foundation


Every single employee of Multnomah County Library, but especially those who administer Interlibrary Loan

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