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Chick Strand, RIP

Chick Strand

Via Karina Longworth over on SpoutBlog, I’ve learned that pioneering ethnographic underground filmmaker Chick Strand passed away on July 11 at the age of 77. Another blog, Phil Solomon‘s MUSINGS, reprints a letter from Strand’s son Eric with more detail. Strand had had health issues related to cancer over the past 10 years, to which she finally succumbed.

Karina and Eric offer up very nice tributes, as does Holly Willis on the KCET “Blur + Sharpen” blog. I suggest reading all three. Karina also offers up a profile of Strand from the 2006 LA Weekly that’s a great read.

Alas, being unfamiliar with Strand’s films myself, I can offer no personal tribute. Although, I recently finished Scott MacDonald’s essential book Canyon Cinema, which recounts the birth of the legendary San Francisco underground film distributor. Canyon originally began as an underground film screening series started by Bruce Baillie. In those early days, though, Strand was essential in helping Baillie organize the screenings and even hosted them for a time in her and her then-husband, Paul Strand’s, backyard. Then, when Canyon eventually moved into distribution, Strand edited several issues of the organization’s newsletter, the Canyon Cinemanews.

There’s not a ton of info out there on the web about Strand’s films and her legacy, but here’s some stuff I collected:

Strand was primarily known as a filmmaker, but she was also a painter. Several of her paintings can be seen online from a gallery showing at La Luz de Jesus in Los Angeles in 2000. Sadly, the online representations of the paintings are somewhat small, but still pretty to look at. This was the first exhibition of her paintings ever.

For the Portland Mercury, Pablo de Ocampo has a brief write-up about her films that were screened at a retrospective in 2001.

Via Google Books, you can read a three-page tribute written by Strand for David E. James’ book Stan Brakhage: Filmmaker. The tribute is more like a poem than a straight-up analysis of Brakhage’s films.

A list of her films available for rental can be found on the Canyon Cinema website. (Image above from the Canyon website.)

And, as always, there are her Wikipedia and IMDB entries.

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  • Ted Alvy says:

    Chick Strand was born December 3, 1931. She passed away at age 77 [NOT 78 as article says] on July 11, 2009.

    Her son Eric Strand emailed (SIC): Yes your right mom would have been 78 in Dec. (born Dec.3, 1931.)

    Peace, Ted Alvy

  • Ted Alvy says:

    >>>Alas, being unfamiliar with Strand’s films myself, I can offer no personal tribute.<<<

    This article is a personal tribute. Thank You.

    Fellow Film Fans:

    Two of the most amazing human beings I have ever known are Neon Park (Martin Muller) and Chick Stand (Mildred Muller). I knew of them both as individuals before I found out these two amazing artists were married. I am very sad about her passing. Chick Strand was known as a brilliant experimental filmmaker when I first saw her work at UCLA circa 1970 and then she touched many of her film students at Occidental College for about 25 years. I met Marty in May 1970 while at KPPC FM and he introduced me to the love of his life.

    Peace, Ted Alvy

    Try these Links:

    I Have No Idea CHICK STRAND Online Art Show at La Luz de Jesus Gallery (Hollywood, California)

    [Click on Year 2000 of Previous Shows; then Click on I Have No Idea])



    Films Of Chick Strand


    Chick Strand in The Internet Movie Database


    Zen Voodoo: NEON PARK Online Art Show at La Luz de Jesus Gallery (Hollywood, California)

    [Click on Year 2000 of Previous Shows; then Click on Zen Voodoo])

    NEON PARK Art Show