Category Archives: Savages

What Do Pictures Want: Oregon Artists In Diaspora, 1972

“Analysis shows that a relation (always social) determines its terms, and not the reverse, and that each individual is a locus in which an incoherent (and often contradictory) plurality of such relational determinations interact.” Michel de Certeau

Analysis of Oregon film history shows that the incoherent plurality of relational determinations occasionally recedes to reveal unexpected unity.

For example, the collective decision far-flung Oregon filmmakers made in 1972 to undertake and/or interrogate and/or horse around with anthropology.


Kenya Boran (shot in 1972/completed 1974), dir. by James Blue & David MacDougall in Kenya. (Blue in headphones.)


Adventures Of A Brown Man In Search Of Civilization (1972) dir. by James Ivory in London. (Ivory in headphones.)


Savages (1972), dir. by James Ivory in Tarrytown. (Actors in mudface.)


Mahagonny (shot 1970-1972, completed 1980), dir. by Harry Smith in Manhattan. (Image as ritual.)

Bonus 1972 Oregon film:


Drugs: Killers Or Dillers (1972), dir. by Tim Smith & Matt Groening in Portland. (Groening in ferns.)

If I was on Twitter, I would tag this post #crosscultural #transnational #transcultural #transmodernity #postmodernity #altermodernity #postcolonial #neocolonial #decolonial #pluriversal #borderstudies #migratoryaesthetics #whatdoimageswant

We need to reckon with, not just the meaning of images, but with their silence, their reticence, their wildness and nonsensical obduracy. We need to account for not just the powerfulness of images, but their powerlessness, their impotence, their abjection. We need, in other words, to grasp both sides of the paradox of the image: that it is alive – but also dead; powerful – but also weak; meaningful – but also meaningless.

W. J. T. Mitchell, What Do Pictures Want? The Lives and Loves of Images


Films of Harry Smith, James Ivory, James Blue and Homer Groening, the senior member of the two generation Groening dynasty, will be screened at the Hollywood Theatre during the upcoming Mid Century Oregon Genius screening series.


Notes On James Blue is a blog kept by Anne Richardson, of Oregon Movies, A to Z, to document her own learning curve as she attends the 2014 James Blue Tribute.

Notes On James Blue is supported by the James Blue Alliance, a 501 c3 non profit organization dedicated to preserving the legacy of filmmaker and film educator James Blue. All thoughts, opinions, and errors belong to Anne Richardson, and do not necessarily reflect those of the Alliance.