Remembering Luther Price I - Luther Price: New Utopia and Light Fracture

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Presented in association with CounterPulse
Tara Merenda Nelson in person

Admission: $15 General / $12 Cinematheque Members
Event tickets here

In celebration of Visual Studies Workshop’s publication of Luther Price: New Utopia and Light Fracture, Cinematheque is thrilled to welcome VSW’s Tara Merenda Nelson to present the slide work of Luther Price. A related program: Remembering Luther Price II: Two Films by Tom Rhoads will screen at Shapeshifters Cinema, Oakland on Thursday, March 28.

Luther Price. One of the weirdest, most wonderful, most fascinating, most unique filmmakers (and humans) ever to live. As an artist, Price would just go for it—dive deep into his weirdness, his queerness, his obsessiveness—and grind out these insanely freaked out, beautiful, violent films in which themes of personal/family life, sexuality, mortality and bodily experience screamed out like mutant screaming monstrosities, as if he were ripping bandages off of gnarly wounds. His films swirl in never-ending maelstroms of repetition and perpetuity and are the most intense, beautiful/ugly, most harrowingly cathartic experiences ever to be had: insanely weird, funny, frightening, baffling, overwhelming… (Steve Polta: Remembering Luther Price

Luther Price (1962–2020) was a filmmaker known for deeply personal and aggressively visceral film work. His early Super-8 films (some made as pre-Luther identity Tom Rhoads), including Jellyfish Sandwich, Sodom, Green and Warm Broth, enacted primal domestic psychodramas and/or probed the psychosexual extremes of physical experience while later 16mm found footage and hand-painted film work was equally overwhelming in its obsessive physicality. In the last decade of his life, Price created breathtaking collages on 35mm slides, combining the techniques he had mastered in his film works to culminate in single frame compositions—“rotted slides, slides of hair and dust, slides of dead ants, slides made from old strips of film, slides filled with colored sugar*” 

Virtually unseen locally, Price’s stunning work with slides is documented in Visual Studies Workshop’s Luther Price: New Utopia and Light Fracture, a 2023 publication featuring copious images derived from the depths of Price’s 35mm collages as well as intimate email correspondence from Price to VSW editor Tate Shaw 2017–18 and an essay by Ed Halter of Light Industry, Brooklyn. In celebration of this publication, Cinematheque is thrilled to present two sets of Price’s double-projected slides—New Utopia and Light Fracture (both 2017) and to welcome Visual Studies Workshop’s Tara Merenda Nelson to speak on the publication, the slides and on Price. Two Super-8 films by Price—Clown (1990–2002) and the infamous Sodom (1989)—will also screen.

* quotation from Ed Halter: Yesterday Once More, published in Luther Price: New Utopia and Light Fracture.

The two-part series Remembering Luther Price also celebrates the release of two publications on the artist (both available from Cinematheque):


Counterpulse - San Francisco, United States


Sunday, March 24, 2024 - 19:30



Sunday, March 24, 2024 - 19:30


  • 80 Turk St,
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    United States
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    37° 47' 0.1608" N, 122° 24' 37.4544" W