Anthology Film Archives


January 23 – January 27

As a special tribute to renowned avant-garde composer Alvin Lucier, who passed away on December 1 at the age of 90, we present rare screenings of George Manupelli’s bizarre and hilarious DR. CHICAGO (1968) and CRY DR. CHICAGO (1971), both of which are graced with peerlessly deadpan performances by Lucier as the titular sex-change-surgeon.

Manupelli was a prime mover in the highly original, deeply influential ONCE Group, which was comprised of composers, musicians, and artists including composer Robert Ashley, performer Mary Ashley, and dancer Steve Paxton, all of whom Manupelli enlisted for the cast of the DR. CHICAGO films (which also include RIDE DR. CHICAGO RIDE, and a fourth film, DR. CHICAGO GOES TO SWEDEN, which Manupelli destroyed). But it’s Lucier who steals the show. A composer celebrated for his radical and pioneering experiments in avant-garde music, his sound installations, and his investigations into the nature of auditory phenomena, Lucier created seminal music performances and compositions such as “I Am Sitting in a Room” (1969), “Music on a Long Thin Wire” (1977), and “Nothing Is Real” (1990). But in addition to his immense accomplishments as a composer, Lucier proves to be a natural on-screen performer in the DR. CHICAGO films, with an effortlessly charismatic and unexpectedly comic flair. A true renaissance man, if ever there was one!

[The screening of CRY DR. CHICAGO on Sunday, January 23 at 8:00 will be introduced by filmmaker, artist, and archivist Andrew Lampert!]

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