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The Lonely Chicken Dream

Alternative Visions

Tuesday, January 26, 2010
7:30 p.m. The Coney Island Amateur Psychoanalytic Society Dream Films
(U.S., 1926–72)

Illustrated Lecture by Zoe Beloff


To mark the centennial of Sigmund Freud’s visit to Coney Island in 1909, New York media artist Zoe Beloff will present an illustrated lecture on the Coney Island Amateur Psychoanalytic Society, which flourished from 1926 to 1972. “Its origins are something of an urban myth,” Beloff writes. “Its members were largely working people from a variety of backgrounds who were filled with the desire to participate in one of the great intellectual movements of the twentieth century: psychoanalysis. Additionally, like the Amateur Cine League (founded the same year), many members wished to tap into the power for self expression afforded by technologies like home movie cameras that were newly accessible to ordinary people. This screening presents a range of their amateur films, which reveal an incredibly brave, unapologetic exploration of their inner lives.”

The Coney Island Amateur Psychoanalytic Society and Its Circle will be on sale at the screening. It was published in conjunction with an exhibition at The Coney Island Museum in Brooklyn, N.Y., on view through March 21.

Of related interest: Celebrating Amateur Film.


Coney Island (Roscoe “Fatty” Arbuckle, 1917, 25 mins, Silent, B&W, 35mm, From the Collection of George Eastman House). The Midget Crane (Albert Grass, 1926, 2 mins, Silent, B&W). The Praying Mantis (Charmion de Forde, 1931, 6 mins, B&W). The Bear Dream (Arthur Rosenzweig, 1937, 4 mins, Silent, B&W). Chasing Louis Schnekowitz (Molly Lippman, 1945, 4 mins, Silent, B&W, Transferred from 8mm). The Lion Dream (Teddy Weisengrund, 1947, 3 mins, Silent, B&W). The Lonely Chicken Dream (Beverly d’Angelo, 1954, 3 mins, Color). The Abandoned Ark (Stella Weiss, 1958, 4 mins, Silent, Color/ B&W). My Dream of Dental Irritation (Bobby Beaujolais, 1964, 5 mins, Color, Transferred from 8mm). The Bobsled: A Recurring Dream (Eddie Kammerer, 1972, 2 mins, Color/B&W)

• (Total running time: 90 mins including lecture, 16mm, From the archive of the Coney Island Amateur Psychoanalytic Society, unless otherwise indicated)