Hybrid

Posted by | Conversations at the Edge | Posted on | November 15, 2001

Thursday, November 15, 2001, 6 pm

2000, Montieth McCollum, USA, 92 min, 35mm

Montieth McCollum in person!

“A tricky and tremendous film that examines what work means to the soul: a topic that is particularly American.” (Elvis Mitchell, New York Times)

“Hybrid is the most pleasingly unconventional documentary portrait in recent memory – McCollum with the assistance of avant-gardist Ariana Gerstein has fashioned a thoroughly uncategorizable movie experience.” (Paul Arthur, Film Comment)

Witty and tender, deadpan and poetic, Hybrid slyly reveals the promiscuity of corn as it traces the life and obsession of Iowa breeder Milford Beeghly in this imaginative and highly original debut film by Montieth McCollum, Beeghly’s grandson. At first Beeghly seems to typify the laconic farmer, but before long McCollum teases out his grandfather’s passion for experimentation with hybrid corn, his love of song and verse, and his affection for women and the land. Interweaving animation sequences, hilarious 1950s commercials, quietly stunning shots of the Iowa landscape, and conversations with family and its patriarch (from his remarriage at age 94 through his 100th birthday), this intimate, wry film absorbs us in its contemplation on the Midwest and the complexities of a philosopher of the soil.

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