PHIL OCHS There But For Fortune
In Person: Filmmaker KENNETH BOWSER
April 7 at 7:30pm
CAC & FMSH Members $9 / Public $13 Includes Reception
No folk singer exemplifies the political activism of the 1960s as clearly and forcefully as Phil Ochs. Taking themes directly from the headlines, his impassioned, often witty and sometimes acerbic songs, sung in his clear, baritone voice, became anthems of the civil rights and anti-war movements. Phil Ochs believed that the power of music and lyrics could change the world and set out to fulfill his calling. At the same time, he struggled with his own bi-polarity. Ochs came of age enamored with the heroic myth of American individualism: his favorite movie star was John Wayne and he supported J.F.K. At Ohio State University Ochs won a guitar on a bet that J.F.K. would defeat Richard Nixon. In 1962, Ochs headed to Greenwich Village where he joined Bob Dylan, Joan Baez, and Dave Van Rock to create a Golden Age of American folk music. During the next few years his "topical" folk songs explored traumatic contemporary issues such as violent resistence to the Civil Rights movement and the escalating war in Vietnam. To create the passionate, exciting, sometimes frenetic tone of the times, filmmaker Kennith Bowser skillfully integrates vintage and contemporary interviews, news footage and films of Phil Ochs performances. Five years and several albums later, Ochs joined Abbie Hoffman and Jerry Rubin in the Yippie movement at the 1968 Democratic Convention. By now he had written several folk classics including I ain't Marching anymore, There But to Fortune and the wry Love me, I'm a Liberal. After descending into depression and alcoholism Phil Ochs died in 1975. In his 35 years he created a legacy of songs as relevant today, when Afghanistan replaces Vietnam as our longest war, as in the 60s.-Marty Haas USA, 2010, 96 min.
Cinema Arts Centre
423 Park Avenue
Huntington, NY 11743