LARRY COHEN FILMMAKING WORKSHOP Friday August 20 2:30 PM Q THE WINGED SERPENT Friday August 20 9:15 PM
GOD TOLD ME TO Saturday August 21 8:45 PM
The Chicago Underground Film Festival is extremely pleased to welcome Larry Cohen as our 2004 Guest Of Honor. A unique figure in the world of low-budget, independent film production, Cohen began his professional career as an NBC page. This position has historically been an excellent launching pad for creative people, and within a year Cohen had made enough contacts to gain a scriptwriter post at NBC. Cohen then moved into Hollywood production, writing scripts for such films as RETURN OF THE SEVEN (1966) and DADDY¹S GONE A HUNTING (1969). The writer gradually eased into direction with the low-budget BONE followed by the blaxploitation films BLACK CAESER and HELL UP IN HARLEM (both 1973). A year later he wrote, directed and produced the film that solidified his reputation with cult film fans, IT¹S ALIVE, an economical but effective horror film about a genetically mutated killer baby. Cohen¹s films nearly always display an intelligence, wit and social consciousness rarely seen in other ³exploitation² fare. Films like GOD TOLD ME TO, Q THE WINGED SERPENT and THE STUFF question societies assumptions about God, aliens, and religion and corporate/government collusion. The fact that Cohen has produced this impressive body of work on such miniscule budgets makes his career that much more inspiring. In addition to his work has director Cohen has written screenplays for a number of films, most recently the Joel Schumacher directed PHONE BOOTH starring Colin Farrell.