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Week of June 9, 2004

Haack: The King of Techno Philip Anagnos. (unrated) This documentary centers on Bruce Haack's inventive contributions to music, his songwriting for children and his global influence on contemporary musicians. Haack (1931-1988) never coveted mainstream popularity, avowing interest in " a telepathic following," fitting for a man who played music on people via his "People-odian," invented remarkable machines to make electronic sounds and charted a thoroughly unconventional path through a potpourri of musical styles. Anagnos captures this elusive mastermind by juxtaposing black-and-white footage and photographs with interviews and samples of Haack's inimitable compositions. Clips from appearances on I've Got a Secret and Mister Rogers' Neighborhood (with the wonderful Esther Nelson) show perplexed and delighted participants, a common response to his work. With director Philip Anagnos in attendance Friday and Saturday. Shown with Howard Finster: Man of Visions, a 23-minute film short. Screens at 8 p.m. Friday, June 11, through Sunday, June 13, in the Moore Auditorium on the campus of Webster University, 470 E. Lockwood Avenue. Call 314-968-7487 for more information. (Diane Carson)

MadCat Program: Gotta Get It (unrated) The MadCat International Festival selects, exhibits and then tours imaginative films and videos directed by women. The selections featured in the MadCat program "Gotta Get It" are stylistically diverse, with animated, experimental and documentary works capturing a medley of ideas and obsessions. Among the most clever pieces are Tami Wilson's "Bingo Ladies," a sobering, even sad, look at Vancouver's lonely bingo addicts; and Carolyn Kaylor' s amusing "Kate's Sole Excess" on shoe fixations. In the most inventive selection, Lilliana Porter animates a wild assortment of figurines and objects (gauchos, frogs, shoes, eggs, ballerinas, boxes, etc.) in a series of vignettes accompanied by exceptional music (ballad, tango, country & Western) and sound or arresting silence, and Jennifer Drummond's "The F.E.D.S." entertains at the expense of the "Food Education Demo Specialists." Some pieces are less successful, but this program offers sufficient variety to make a strong point: Women artists have a great deal to say in extremely creative ways. Screens at 8 p.m. Thursday, June 10, in the Moore Auditorium on the campus of Webster University, 470 E. Lockwood Avenue. Call 314-968-7487 for more information. (Diane Carson)

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