Painter, professor, and blues man, Mike Henderson is far too little known for his remarkable body of 16mm film work. The Marshall, Missouri-born Henderson set out for California in 1965 to study at the San Francisco Art Institute, where he graduated with a BFA in painting and a MFA in filmmaking in 1970. He joined the faculty at University of California-Davis as a professor of art, teaching painting, drawing, and filmmaking until his retirement in 2012.
Radically inventive, often hilariously funny, and very rarely shown, Henderson’s “talking blues films” reflect an unusual synthesis of his music and painting backgrounds, spanning compositional experiments, absurdist musings on creativity, and blues-driven pieces about Black identity, all rendered in a powerful, unadorned DIY directness.
Just Another Notion: Short Films by Mike Henderson
Films include The Last Supper (1970), Dufus (1973), King David (1979), Too Late to Stop Down Now (1982), The Shape of Things (1981), Just Another Notion (1983), How to Beat a Dead Horse (1983), Down Hear (1972), Pitchfork And The Devil (1979) and Money (1970).
This series is sponsored by the Black Film Center/Archive, College of Arts and Sciences, The Media School, Film and Media Studies Program, Department of American Studies, the Afrosurrealist Film Society, Department of African American and African Diaspora Studies and IU Cinema. Special thanks to the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences Film Archive for providing all 16mm prints for this series.