Tuesday, May 31, 2011

New Information on Cincinnati Screening of "Phil Ochs: There But for Fortune"

Here is a new announcement about the 2 p.m., June 12th, screening of the new film "Phil Ochs: There But for Fortune" at Hebrew Union College in Clifton:

Special first-run Cincinnati screening of the new documentary "Phil Ochs: There But For Fortune” [Sunday June 12th at 2 PM at Hebrew Union College in Clifton]:

One way to look at the folk/protest-music movement of the 1960s is as a rivalry between two astonishingly talented young songwriters – Bob Dylan and Phil Ochs. But Ochs, who took his own life in 1976, is underappreciated today, despite recording such tough, tender, pointed, often-sarcastic politically left songs as "Changes," "There But For Fortune," "Love Me I'm a Liberal" and the anti-war "I Ain't Marching Anymore."

As Dylan was moving away from folk songs with messages, he derided Ochs as a “journalist” (Ochs had studied journalism at Ohio State). But pushed by Dylan, the times and his own keen mind to move into rock and artful, personal singer-songwriter compositions, Ochs responded with a classic. His 1967 Pleasures of the Harbor, one of the most poignant, personal and beautifully melodic albums to come out of the period. It also contained his first recording of the song considered his masterpiece, “Crucifixion,” a religious allegory about President Kennedy’s assassination.

It is said that when he played an acoustic version for Robert Kennedy during his 1968 campaign for the Democratic presidential nomination, Kennedy wept.
Pleasures of the Harbor was not the mainstream commercial breakthrough Ochs or his record company hoped for. He continued to record for a few more years, exploring rock and country as well as folk, and in 1968 wrote the anti-Vietnam War classic “The War Is Over,” even though that war very much wasn’t over. But amid changing times and trends, he slipped from public view and his last years were spent outside the limelight.

The new, highly praised documentary “Phil Ochs: There But For Fortune,” by Kenneth Bowser, offers extensive archival footage of Ochs' career and music, plus interviews with Joan Baez, Pete Seeger, Peter Yarrow, Tom Hayden, Billy Bragg and Sean Penn.

The screening will be held at 2 p.m. June 12th in the electronic classroom of HUC's Jacob Rader Marcus Center of the American Jewish Archives, 3101 Clifton Ave., and will be followed by a discussion featuring CityBeat music writer Anne Arenstein and Don Mooney, a lawyer and longtime political activist.

Tickets are $10 in advance, available at www.philochsmoviecincinnati.blogspot.com, by E-mail from ochsmoviecincy@aol.com or by calling 513/535-0936. There will also be tickets sold at the door. Since theater capacity is 100, advance purchases are recommended.

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