"San Francisco Trips Festival" and other Cinematic Delights: Film Screening and Conversation with Ben Van Meter
Image courtesy of Ben Van Meter
Film screening followed by Ben Van Meter in conversation with Julian Cox, Chief Curator and Found Curator of Photography, Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco.
The Poon Trang Trilogy (8 min 34 sec, 1964, b&w)
Bolex Peyote Bardo (12 min 10 sec, 1964, b&w)
Colorfilm (7 min 45 sec, 1964, color)
Up Tight, L.A. Is Burning...Shit! (20 min 47 sec, 1965, color)
San Francisco Trips Festival, An Opening (8 min 50 sec, 1966, color)
Ben Van Meter was born as a stranger in a strange land in Oklahoma on Feb. 9 1941. He got the hell out of there twenty years later and moved to San Francisco to study at San Francisco State College where he graduated with a B.A. in Film-Poetry in 1965.
He had his 15 minutes of fame as an experimental film maker and light show artist during the late sixties. His light show, the North American Ibis Alchemical Company, was the house show at the Avalon Ballroom throughout the Summer of Love, 1967. His first business card read, “Ben Van Meter, Odd Films, Curious Photographs, Light Shows.”
He and Sandra were married at the Buddhist Temple in 1967 and moved to the country in 1968. He taught filmmaking at the San Francisco Art Institute from 1968 to 1979 and received an M.F.A. degree in 1974,
Ben and Sandra raised three children in the old Bloomfield Schoolhouse near Petaluma and worked in horticulture during the eighties.
From 1990 to 2014 Ben performed Karma Yoga as a social service ronin in various group homes and vocational programs serving abused and emotionally disturbed children.
He was also General Manager of the Alturas Community Theater from 2000 to 2007 and his play, Lost River, the Story of the Modoc Indian War, was produced four times as an outdoor drama by the Modoc County Arts Council.
He “was stroked” (as Ram Dass calls it) in 2014 and retired in North Lakeport. While recovering he met John Lyons on e-bay and began scanning and printing his slide collection, putting his films on dvds and working on a book. This resulted in his participation in the de Young museum’s Summer of Love exhibition and his second 15 minutes of fame.
This event is free and open to the public. Complimentary tickets are distributed starting at 6pm at the Koret entrance. Tickets available while they last. Please arrive early, as seating is limited.
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