Essential Pittsburgh: Henry Roll

Henry Roll’s ties to Pittsburgh film history run deep: he was an extra in several Romero films; he taught animation at Pittsburgh Filmmakers in the organization’s earliest days; he animated openings for Chiller Theater; he was a projectionist at many of the region’s theaters; and, in the 1960s and 70s, he created a string of mind-expanding experimental films. While they achieved modest success in their time (and procured him solo shows at Filmmakers and the Mattress Factory), his films have been virtually unseen for the last 40 years (save our inclusion of Roll’s Thing in our GIANT SCREAM SHOW last year, which proved to be an instant audience favorite.)

Here’s what’s happening at this show:

  • 16mm presentations of Roll’s mind-expanding outsider experimental films
  • The premiere of a new score by Steve Boyle for one of Roll’s films
  • A pre-show with electronic music Henry recorded on a Buchla synthesizer in the late 1960s
  • We’ll give away 6 original paintings by Henry Roll at the screening! As well as various ephemera and publications of his work from over the decades

Doors open at 7:30. Films start at 8:00.

This event is free thanks to funding for Homestead Live Fridays courtesy of Steel Valley Enterprise Zone.

About Essential Pittsburgh

Pittsburgh Sound + Image seeks to redefine our region’s film history this summer with the launch of our Essential Pittsburgh series. Too often when recounting the noteworthy makers who have worked here, we hear the same names. We wish to acknowledge the depth of creativity which has flourished here by spotlighting additional vital artists and their films from the 1960s through the 1990s. This landmark series is a continuation of our efforts to celebrate a fuller picture of independent, amateur, industrial, and experimental filmmaking talent, and to better situate Pittsburgh nationally as a place of rich cinematic history.

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