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The Balagan Film Series had its final screening of the season earlier this week with "Our Departed," a program comprised of work from filmmakers who passed away in 2011.  As co-curator Jeff Silva noted, it's been a rough year for the film community in terms of losses, and he likened the Balagan program to another take on the "in memorium" section of the Oscars - a flipside to the usual Hollywood tribute since it featured work from very independent filmmakers like George Kuchar, Robert Breer, Owen Land, Karen Aqua (whose film Twist of Fate was screened on a great 35mm print), Ricky Leacock, Raúl Ruiz and Omar Amiralay. 

Some of the films I'd heard of and was eager to see - like Leacock's Chiefs, about a police chief convention in Hawaii right after the 1968 riots at the Chicago Democratic Convention - and others, like Owen Land's 3-minute No Sir Orison, were pleasant surprises. 


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