1084 N MILWAUKEE, CHICAGO

A BETTER DAY IN EVERY WAY

The Films of Rhody Streeter and Tony Ganz
Presented by White Light Cinema
With Rhoden “Rhody” Streeter in Person!

streeterganz

The Nightingale Cinema, 1084 N. Milwaukee
Friday, September 16th, 7:30 pm, $7-10

 

White Light Cinema is pleased to present this program of the quirky, idiosyncratic, and occasionally ironic early 1970’s short documentaries of Rhody Streeter and Tony Ganz.

Over the course of two years, Streeter and Ganz produced a series of amazing films that chronicle little-seen aspects of American society and culture of time. Some are sincere looks at more serious subjects (a men’s shelter, a youth social service organization), others explore in miniature more eclectic aspects of American life: a kitschy honeymoon hotel in the Poconos, the Sun City retirement community in Arizona, Muzak, and a former Times Square freak show business. Even when the films are at their most ironic and wryly humorous, Streeter and Ganz never resort to overt mockery.

A number of the films found success at the time – many of them were produced for the television series The Great American Dream Machine, a weekly satirical variety television series, produced in New York City by WNET and broadcast on PBS from 1971 to 1973; others aired on The 51st State, a WNET New York local news program; many played extensively on the film festival circuit.

Streeter went on to make television documentaries in Louisville, and later worked in Media Services with the Kentucky Department of Education for twenty-five years. Ganz entered the film industry, working mostly as a producer of television films, but also for the theatrical features Gung Ho and Clean and Sober, among others.

Program Details:
THE BOARD
(1971, 3 min, 16mm)
A moody look at smalltime investors contemplating their changing fortunes, as reflected in the fluctuations of stock prices on the big board. Based on The Board, the producers of The Great American Dream Machine hired Streeter and Ganz to make additional short films.

THE BEST OF YOUR LIFE
(1972, 8 min, 16mm)
A grimly amusing look at life in Sun City, Arizona, a gated retirement community. The Best of Your Life was the first film that Streeter and Ganz made for The Great American Dream Machine.

 

THE BOWERY MEN’S SHELTER
(1972, 10 min, 16mm)
A portrait of a longstanding shelter for homeless men on the Bowery in New York City, based on observation and conversations with the residents and employees of the shelter. “Interesting to note in almost all my films the narrative thread is developed strictly out of the interviews I think this film with its 20 seconds of Tony’s voiceover is one of the few times I’ve used a narrator.”

HUBERT’S
(1972, 7 min, 16mm, co-directed by Vicki Polon)
From 1925 to 1969, Hubert’s Museum in Times Square, next door to the Amsterdam Theater on West 42nd Street, presented a remarkable variety of freak shows and carnival acts. Performers included Olga, the bearded lady, the Man From World War Zero, who had a terribly deformed face, Susie the Elephant Skin Girl, Lady Estelline the sword swallower, Princess Sahloo the voodoo jungle snake dancer, Prince Randion the human caterpillar, and Zip the Pinhead. Hubert’s also hosted Professor Heckler’s Flea Circus, in which real fleas attached to very thin wires raced miniature chariots on a tiny track. Diane Arbus photographed the freaks at Hubert’s and Tiny Tim started his singing career on the Hubert’s stage. The freak shows closed in 1965, and Streeter, Ganz & Polon captured the final days of Hubert’s.

CLAREMONT STABLES
(1972, 10 min, 16mm)
A portrait of the customers and employees of the Claremont stables, the last commercial stable renting horses for riding in Central Park, New York City.

SIGNS
(1972, 9 min, 16mm)
A document of the now lost art of handpainted commercial signage, including amusing anecdotes and the actual installation of a billboard. “Lots of fun hanging on to the back of a truck and single framing by hand for our ‘timelapse.’”

Y.E.S.
(1972, 5 min, 16mm)
A look at New York City social service organization workers convincing a teenage Canadian runaway to call his family and return home.

BASKIN & ROBBINS
(1972, 9 min, 16mm)
Interviews with the customers and employees of a Baskin & Robbins franchise, focusing on their favorite flavors of ice cream, among other things.

A TRIP THROUGH THE BROOKS HOME
(1972, 8 min, 16mm)
A single-take shot of footage originally filmed for The Best of Your Life. A Sun City couple takes the filmmakers on a tour of their home, filled with “French Provincial” furniture.

A BETTER DAY IN EVERY WAY
(1972, 6 min, 16mm)
Interviews with executives and employees at the Muzak company, particularly regarding its efficacy as an aid to productiveness in the workplace.

HONEYMOON HOTEL
(1971, 4 min, 16mm)
A look at a kitschy romantically-themed hotel for newlyweds in the Poconos. Interviews with several couples are bookended by comments from the hotel’s organ-playing social director.

Very Special Thanks to Rhoden Streeter and Brian Frye.
Select film descriptions courtesy of the Lexington Film League and Rhoden Streeter.
Programmed by Patrick Friel



Filed under: 16mm, archival, artist in attendance, documentary, experimental, film, Uncategorized

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