Special event tonight, 9/19, at 7PM: Conversation with P. Adams Sitney, Mark Webber, and Robert Beavers.
Filmmaker Gregory Markopolous was a classical queer, openly homosexual and proudly Hellenistic by any metric, from ethnic background and intellectual affinity to sentimental predilection and aesthetic sensibility. He was also one of the central players in the so-called New American Cinema coterie of experimental filmmakers that included such luminaries as Jonas Mekas, Stan Brakhage and Curtis Harrington.
After attaining notable success, and notable notoriety, with his films of the Fifties and early Sixties (many of which screened back in April during the HFA’s first Markopolous retrospective), Markopolous withdrew from the American scene, citing alienation and disillusion, and moved to Europe with his partner, Robert Beavers. Eventually settling in Greece, Markopolous continued making films, but never showed them theatrically in his lifetime. He had a larger goal in mind: the production of a single, spectacularly long film comprising all of his films — a kind of festival, or mystery ceremony, that would be screened from beginning to end at regular intervals (or irregular intervals? I’m fuzzy on this point, and possibly others) in a cathedralesque space he and Beavers fashioned together in Greece, called Temenos.
What the HFA is presenting in its three retrospectives — this second of which will focus on his earliest works, including student films, and on the films he made during the first several years of his elective exile — is probably the closest we will ever come to a kind of portable Temenos, a bordering-on-complete picture of the whole of the Markopolous ouevre. I haven’t seen much of it myself, but I am eager to do so.
Tonight’s opening offers a rare opportunity to sit in on a conversation about a legend conducted by a pair of figures legendary in their own right: P. Adams Sitney, author of the profoundly influential study Visionary Film, and Robert Beavers, Markopolous’ life-partner and fellow filmmaker. The two will be joined by curator Mark Webber.
9/19 SPECIAL EVENT // 7PM // $12
Conversation with P. Adams Sitney, Mark Webber, and Robert Beavers,
featuring screenings of Gammelion (1968, 55 minutes) and Bliss (1967, 5 minutes)
For details on additional screenings in the series, click here.
Harvard Film Archive
24 Quincy St