(Trailor for the short film: The Thorazine Shuffle, a part of "The Dandelion King: Love and loss while waiting in the gas line.": dandelionking.wordpress.com/.) It was the 1970′s and Metropolitan State Hospital was the first place my mother worked after her divorce. The film ‘Hurry Tomorrow’ (1974) by Richard Cohen and Kevin Rafferty showed the state institution which abused its power to medicate and incarcerate and individuals who struggled with both the institution and their own illnesses. The animation experiment above is a part of the short animated film “The Thorazine Shuffle” (in progress, 2014) which uses hand drawn animation to tell an impressionistic story of my mom’s job in the public mental health field, direct cinema representation of this world, and mental illness from the perspective of a young girl’s imagination. The ‘Thorazine Shuffle’ is the first in the ‘Dandelion King’ short film series.
"An insightful portrait of the director’s late boyfriend, a talented but troubled young man, by using much of his own words and images. Fond of memory yet always completely honest."
CineVegas, Shorts Program, 2003
“This is Eugene O’Neill or Casavetes in super 8.”-- DeeDee Halleck
Synopsis: Man and the Middle Class: The Work and Vision of Henry Strauss (2013) tells us the story of Henry Strauss, an industrial film producer who lived through the Great Depression and WWII. Learning from these experiences, Henry’s company, Henry Strauss Productions, Inc. produced films and management training films for most of the large corporations in post-war America, including Pan American Airlines, GE and AT&T from 1947 until 1971.
In this film, Henry Strauss-then 95-in conversation with filmmaker, Heide Solbrig, narrates his experiences in the war and the depression and how these experiences inspired the production of workplace films that educated soldiers returning home from war, newly promoted managers and executives in a new set of authority relations and work identities. The film asks, if we are going to lose the American middle class, as the television news warns, shouldn't we understand the ideas and institutions which shaped it in the first place? Through conversation, interview, voice-over and historical footage the film narrates how the films of Henry Strauss reflected labor management debates critical to the production of a post-war middle-class in the U.S. (51 min.)