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Tom Taylor/Oregon filmmaker

November 5th, 2009 by Anne Richardson · No Comments · Oregon director, Oregon filmmaker

When Dennis and I began talking to Portland filmmakers about Portland Before Video, the panel discussion at the Oregon Sesquicentennial Film Festival at Marylhurst which covered the years which saw the transition from film to video, people kept mentioning Tom Taylor, as a mentor and teacher.

You can see some of Taylor’s work this year at the Northwest Film & Video Festival. This is from their website:


Sunday, Nov. 8, 2:00 PM

Whitsell Auditorium

Tom arrived in Portland in 1965 from southern California to start the Center for the Moving Image at Portland State University with his mentor, friend, and former professor at USC, Andries Deinum. Together, they incubated and nurtured a community of film and video artists who gained world renown. They also set the stage for the establishment of the Northwest Film Center in 1971.

Tom’s integrity, patience, commitment to social justice, and insistence on craftsmanship continue to remind us of the importance of quality media to the health of democracy. He was an inspiration and guide to many in the late 1960s and ’70s who imagined that telling stories with moving images might be a way to spend a life, and a way to change the world.

Tom Taylor, born in Butte, Montana, on December 4, 1927, died this year on St. Patrick’s Day.

Today we celebrate Tom with a screening of a number of his films, including:

THE POTTER (1956)—A simple, elegantly crafted, beautifully photographed first film about the art, the processes, and the pleasures of being a potter. (12 mins.)

CAPRICE WILL BECOME THE RULE (1969)— Made by Tom and his students, CAPRICE is a delightful and chaotic piece shot during rehearsals for the PSU Group for New Music’s “Beulahland Rag.” (13 mins.)

THE SEVENTH DAY (1970)—A behind-the-scenes look at student protests at Portland State
against the killings at Kent State and the U.S. bombing of Cambodia. (29 mins.)

BECOMING (1973)—A sponsored film produced for the Women’s Division of Continuing Education at PSU that explores the pressures on women to find meaningful lives in a conformist culture. (24 mins.)

IN THIS VERY ROOM (1993)—Produced by the Senior Community Video Project, a community based non-profit Tom founded, IN THIS VERY ROOM offers a poignant look at a project that creatively helps seniors suffering from dementia and Alzheimer’s. (13 mins.)

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