Skip to main content

Xcèntric 2020

Edward Owens. Complete works


Edward Owens is a young Afro-American queer filmmaker who, tutored by Markopoulos, created his fascinating oeuvre around the age of 17-18 before giving up film due to his addiction to drugs and a bipolar syndrome. This session presents all of his films, which remained unscreened for decades.

In his brief body of work, Owens produced film portraits and sensitive evocations that intermingle reality, imagination and desire by means of overprinting and a delicate, baroque use of light and colour. In Remembrance: A Portrait Study he created a portrait of his mother and two friends; in Private Imaginings and Narrative Facts, his circle of friends in his native Chicago; Tomorrow’s Promise—“pictorially exciting”, according to Tyler—relates a broken romance between a man and a woman “through strobing edits, layered images, and dramatically lit nudes” (Ed Halter).

After seeing his first film, Autrefois, Markopoulos wrote: “Owens may well be one of the few for whom ‘amateur’ and ‘professional’ need have no significance whatsoever: true to his own native talents, with grim determination uncanny, whether the mind in the arts is for or against beauty or its opposite twin, chaos. So that with each subsequent struggle to complete a film he will leave us breathless with anticipation for his next work.”

Autrefois j’ai aimé une femme, 1966, 16 mm transferred to digital, 22 min

Remembrance: A Portrait Study, 1967, 16 mm transferred to digital, 6 min

Private Imaginings and Narrative Facts; 1966, 16 mm transferred to digital, 9 min

Tomorrow’s Promise, 1967, 16 mm transferred to digital, 45 min

Copies courtesy of The Film-Makers’ Cooperative.

A programme by Gonzalo de Lucas.

Directors: Edward Owens

This activity is part of Xcèntric 2020

You might also be interested in