October 16, 2019, 7:00pm, Regent Square Theater
Early Works, Industrials, and Commercials and O.J. Simpson: Juice on the Loose - Introduced by Three Rivers Film Festival’s Ben Ogrodnik and Flea Market Film’s Steven Haines
We think of Romero’s filmmaking career as beginning with Night of the Living Dead, but it began much earlier when he helped found The Latent Image. Located in a small downtown office that would serve as a surreptitious shooting location for his films, from the basement in Night to the roof in Dawn, Romero and co. established themselves as the premiere local production house for commercials, educational films, and other industrial productions all the way back in 1963. This program of short work gives us a portrait of Romero as an innovative, inventive, and fun craftsman, honing his art through spots for the likes of IC Light and Calgon.
O.J. Simpsons: Juice on the Loose might seem on the surface like a curio, but it actually kicked off an important stage of Romero’s production in the 1970s. This film, along with a documentary on Steelers legend Franco Harris, kicked off a run of 17 sports documentaries that Romero directed or produced before he returned to feature films. Juice on the Loose was his first, and Romero rises to the occasion with a lively, vibrant portrait of Simpson long before his downfall. A remarkably stylish, engrossing dispatch from an important and long-overlooked period of Romero’s creative life.