Anthology Film Archives


April 1 – April 10

Before embarking on a career as one of the most inventive and inspired of American cinema’s movie-mad auteurs, Joe Dante expressed his love of B-movies, horror classics, and even more disreputable cultural detritus by assembling a masterwork of pop-cultural excavation: the four-plus-hour-long collage film THE MOVIE ORGY (1968). The mother of all supercuts, THE MOVIE ORGY was created, in collaboration with producer Jon Davison, while Dante was an undergraduate at the Philadelphia College of Art. It initially took the form of ever-morphing, interactive projections for Dante and Davison’s Philadelphia friends, but the two soon found themselves taking it on the road, where it became a hit on the college-campus circuit (in fact, its popularity was such that it caught the eye of the marketing department of Schlitz beer, which for a time sponsored Dante and Davison’s events). THE MOVIE ORGY gradually took on a more fixed shape, before Dante and Davison’s burgeoning filmmaking careers led them to retire the project in the mid-1970s.

In the ensuing twenty years, THE MOVIE ORGY lapsed into obscurity, familiar only to hardcore Joe Dante fans. But it has slowly come back into circulation, thanks to a screening of a digital transfer during the 1999 Locarno International Film Festival, and eventually to Dante’s creation of a new (now definitive) version for Los Angeles’s New Beverly Cinema in 2008. This 2008 version – which had its NYC premiere at MoMA’s “To Save and Project” series in 2011 – has now been newly scanned from the original 16mm elements by the American Genre Film Archive. Anthology is thrilled to present several (free!) screenings of THE MOVIE ORGY, in all its wild, mashed-up, found-footage glory.

Supplementing these special screenings, we will also be presenting a selection of other Joe Dante classics, with a special focus on those films that pay explicit homage to pop culture and the experience of moviegoing, either through direct quotation (HOLLYWOOD BOULEVARD), recreation (the GREMLINS films and MATINEE), or by adopting a mash-up approach similar to that of THE MOVIE ORGY (AMAZON WOMEN ON THE MOON).

Special thanks to Joe Dante; Bret Berg (American Genre Film Archive); Chris Chouinard (Park Circus); Jason Jackowski (Universal); and Edda Manriquez (Academy Film Archive).

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