Media Arts Program

Friday, February 22, 2002

$6 general $4 members $5 students & seniors

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Presented at:

Monteith McCollum presents his documentary HYBRID (Monteith McCollum, US, 2000, 92 min., 16mm).

With a blend of poetic cinematography, animation, and an evocative soundtrack, HYBRID is a film about a 100-year old Iowa farmer, his troubled relations with his family and his life-long obsession with hybrid seed corn. Milford Beeghly began his seed company in the 1930s, experimenting with hybrids in secret, peddling his seed to skeptical farmers at a time when intervening in the natural process was seen by some as an oddity, hoax, and sin. The filmmaker, Milford's grandson, reveals a family's resentment towards the stoic, unemotional man who doesn't know how to communicate with his family, but finds companionship in the whispers of rustling cornfields. Humorously playing on a theme of sexuality, the film describes the promiscuity of corn in comparison to other crops. It regales with the mating ritual of corn and the evil inbreeding and pimping for pollen which man partakes to create a hybrid. The film captures Milford's changes over a six-year period, revealing his philosophies and eccentricities, his remarriage at 94, and his battle with pneumonia at 99. It was some 70 years ago that Milford Beeghly first began experimenting with hybridization, in the birthplace of today's biotechnological revolution in agriculture. 

Winner of the GRAND JURY AWARD FOR BEST FEATURE at the 2001 Slamdance Festival,
Selected for the Museum of Modern Art's 2001 New Directors/New Directions series.

"The resultant rush of sensory images overpowers and blurs the lines between documentary, narrative and experimental forms of filmmaking in a way that truly expands the boundaries of cinematic language." Scott Foundas, indieWIRE 

Some publications related to this event:
February, 2002. - 2002