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Gregory J. Markopoulos

Gregory J. Markopoulos

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Also Known As: George Markopoulos Died: November 13, 1992
Born: March 12, 1928 Cause of Death:
Birth Place: Toledo, Ohio, USA Profession: filmmaker, critic, teacher

Biography CLOSE THE FULL BIOGRAPHY

A major but somewhat mysterious figure in the history of American avant-garde cinema, Markopoulos was part of the post-WWII re-emergence of experimental film which also included Kenneth Anger and Stan Brakhage. Like the similarly precocious Anger, the teenaged Markopoulos made his first film in 1947, the ambitious trilogy, "Du Sang, de la Volupte et de la Mort/Of Blood, of Desire and of Death," a 70-minute feature based partly on a novel by Pierre Louys. Not a prolific filmmaker, Markopoulos wrote his own screenplays and also photographed and edited his own works. His best-known and most influential films are "Twice a Man" (1963) and "The Iliac Passion" (1966). Distinguished by subtle but sensuous homoeroticism and a haunting use of loop printing and double exposure, these films explore cinema's capacity to represent time, subjectivity and myth. As with many avant-garde filmmakers, Markopoulos moved increasingly toward structural film as the decade waned (as in "Gammelion" 1968), focusing on the formal parameters of film to enable "new ways of seeing." He also made several collage-style film portraits of prominent cultural figures, among them "Political Portraits" (1969) and "Galaxie" (1966), which...

A major but somewhat mysterious figure in the history of American avant-garde cinema, Markopoulos was part of the post-WWII re-emergence of experimental film which also included Kenneth Anger and Stan Brakhage. Like the similarly precocious Anger, the teenaged Markopoulos made his first film in 1947, the ambitious trilogy, "Du Sang, de la Volupte et de la Mort/Of Blood, of Desire and of Death," a 70-minute feature based partly on a novel by Pierre Louys.

Not a prolific filmmaker, Markopoulos wrote his own screenplays and also photographed and edited his own works. His best-known and most influential films are "Twice a Man" (1963) and "The Iliac Passion" (1966). Distinguished by subtle but sensuous homoeroticism and a haunting use of loop printing and double exposure, these films explore cinema's capacity to represent time, subjectivity and myth.

As with many avant-garde filmmakers, Markopoulos moved increasingly toward structural film as the decade waned (as in "Gammelion" 1968), focusing on the formal parameters of film to enable "new ways of seeing." He also made several collage-style film portraits of prominent cultural figures, among them "Political Portraits" (1969) and "Galaxie" (1966), which featured 30 three-minute portraits of figures including W.H. Auden, Jasper Johns, Jonas Mekas and Susan Sontag.

Markopoulos was an active and visible presence in American "underground" film of the 1960s. He wrote occasionally for the journal "Film Culture," taught at the Art Institute of Chicago, and featured figures from Andy Warhol to Taylor Mead in his films. After moving to Switzerland late in the decade, however, Markopoulos began to sever ties with colleagues and audiences alike. He asked critic P. Adams Sitney to remove the chapter of the landmark "Visionary Film: The American Avant-Garde" devoted to his films from the book's second edition because he felt it misquoted his writings; he even discouraged screenings of his films. Markopoulos continued working on films which, as yet, have been little seen, but several of his greatest efforts are part of the permanent collections of the Art Institute, the Museum of Modern Art, Anthology Film Archives and the Cinematheque Francaise.

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Filmographyclose complete filmography

CAST: (feature film)

1.
 Lost, Lost, Lost (1975)
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Milestones close milestones

1947:
Made first major film, the trilogy "Du Sang, de la Volupte et de la Mort/Of Love, of Desire and of Death"
:
Wrote occasional pieces for FILM CULTURE during the 1960s
:
Taught at the Art Institute of Chicago for a time during the 1960s
:
Moved to Switzerland
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Education

University of Southern California: Los Angeles , California -

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