About Just Another Notion: Short Films by Mike Henderson

Films include Dufus (1970/73), The Last Supper (1970/73), How to Beat a Dead Horse (1983), and King David (1970/2003), made with Robert Nelson. This program is curated by archivist Mark Toscano and includes several restored prints from the Academy Film Archive. NOTE: The film The Last Supper contains mature content, including sexualized religious imagery. (16mm presentation)

Director Mike Henderson and archivist Mark Toscano are scheduled to be present for an introduction and Q&A session.

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.

The Program includes:

  • The Last Supper by Mike Henderson [1970/73, b&w, 7 min]
  • Dufus by Mike Henderson [1970/73, b&w, 7 min]
  • King David by Mike Henderson; made with Robert Nelson [1970/2003, color, 7.5 min]
  • Too Late to Stop Down Now by Mike Henderson [1982, b&w, 4.5 min]
  • The Shape of Things by Mike Henderson [1981, color, 8 min]
  • Just Another Notion by Mike Henderson [1983, color, 3.5 min]
  • How to Beat a Dead Horse by Mike Henderson [1983, b&w and color, 7.5 min]
  • Down Hear by Mike Henderson [1972, b&w, 12 min]
  • Pitchfork And The Devil by Mike Henderson [1979, b&w and color, 15 min]
  • Money by Mike Henderson [1970, b&w, 2 min]

This series is sponsored by the Black Film Center/Archive, the College of Arts and Sciences, The Media School, the Film and Media Studies Program, the Department of American Studies, the Afrosurrealist Film Society, and the Department of African American and African Diaspora Studies. Screenings are free, but ticketed.

Thank you to the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences Film Archive for providing all 16mm prints included in this series.

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