This film is, on one level, a portrait documentary, about Ross and Marion Woodman. Through the lens of Ross Woodman’s life, the film is also an exploration of psychological and spiritual matters. It is a study of how individuation – growing down into your self and your soul – how that flourishes in relationship, sometimes even more so when grounded in a particular place; how identity can be fluid, and psyche, always in process; and what happens if your mentor is sort of a trickster, a guide to the land of the dead or, in another mythology, a rebel angel.
The poet Keats said that a person’s life can be read as a continuous allegory, and both Ross and Marion Woodman certainly lived as if that was true.
Rebel Angel paints a portrait of the evanescent cultural figure Ross Woodman (1922-2014), Jungian author Marion Woodman, and their extraordinary marriage. Ross played a key role in the ‘Regionalist’ art scene in London, Ontario in the 1960s which gave us many of Canada’s most significant artists from that period. Marion was first introduced to Jung’s thought by Ross before they were married in the late 1950s. He accompanied Marion through her journey as a pioneering Jungian analyst who is credited with bringing the Feminine into depth psychology. A champion of creative imagination, he was also an original interpreter of depth psychology in the context of his profound knowledge of world literature and religions, particularly the Baha’i faith. His generosity as a mentor, and his pure artistry as a lecturer on the poetry of Blake, Shelley and the Romantics made him unforgettable, life changing. Through the prism of Woodman’s deeply troubled life, the film maker explores the dynamic among, love, creativity and madness in movies, poetry and art.
I am pleased to offer Rebel Angel online, worldwide through Vimeo on Demand here. Find out why viewers in 20 countries are streaming this award-winning movie. here is the trailer. In December 2022 the film received an award from the prestigious MANNHEIM FILM FESTIVAL in Germany. The film was a finalist for best documentary at the 2023 INTERNATIONAL ART FILM FESTIVAL in Austin Texas, and is also distributed internationally through RESEARCH TV: Sharing Knowledge Through Film.
Poster design: Larry Rossignol, painting Sun/Gate by Sky Glabush
Unbelievable. I laughed, I wept. I was overwhelmed. A glorious celebration and a beautiful film in every way.
—Karen Mulhallen, Poet, Editor of Descant magazine, Professor Emeritus Ryerson University
So much love there with zero sentimentality! I can’t remember watching a movie like that before. Threads of love running all through it: your love for Ross, his love for art and poetry, the love in the eyes of all his friends and colleagues remembering him, the love between Ross and Marion, and your love for film making.
—John Hoedl, Jungian Analyst, president and of the International Society for Psychology as the Discipline of Interiority
Far-reaching and filled with things I didn’t know about Woodman’s life and relationships and experiences, and about London and its art scene. It is a wonderful study of a cultural moment in Canada’s maturing cultural life. I screened the whole thing a second time and found the ideas more universal — i.e. less specific to Woodman. It seemed to say things about you (or me) or anyone who has fallen under the intense spell of the Romantic vision.
—Johanne Clare, author and Professor, George Brown College
I am utterly stunned by the brilliance and beauty and depth of Rebel Angel. Truly a masterpiece.
—David Haenke, Poet and Forest Manager, Ozark Regional Land Trust
A masterful labour of love.
—Deanne Bogdan, Professor Emerita, Department of Social Justice Education
Ontario Institute for Studies in Education of the University of Toronto
You’ve conveyed a complexity in Woodman that I found both convincing and intriguing. You’ve also evoked very effectively the spirit of a time, positioning his life historically in the context of London Ontario, and what Jung called the spirit of the depths as it informed that time, the angel manifesting in that particular time as a necessary rebel. This is so moving.
—Craig Stephenson, Jungian Analyst, author, Lisbon Portugal
Some of my films are distributed through the Canadian Filmmakers Distribution Centre (CFMDC)
FROM THE ARCHIVES: Short Documentary about the Butterfly Peace Garden in Sri Lanka
In 1990, when I worked as a program director with Médecins Sans Frontières — Canada, I made this short doc about the work of my friend Paul Hogan in Sri Lanka.
Why Ecotone? Creative tension, and the wild. An ecotone is a transition area between two adjacent ecological communities. The area of overlapping landscapes where the “foreign” species encounter each other and blend together is an ecotone, the tension created when competing species meet, perhaps to establish new interdependence (in Greek tonos means “tension”).
UPCOMING MUSIC PERFORMANCES
Chris Lowry and the Cool Blue North
I perform regularly with my band, Cool Blue North (formerly the Echotones). With our sense of irony pitched in your key, we are Sitting on Top of the World. To be notified of our next gig, please email firstname.lastname@example.org
Here’s a link to our version of Steve Goodman’s blues song inspired by Melville’s epic novel, Moby Dick.
Photo by Deb Cowman
Music video San Diego Serenade, Tom Waits
Tom Melville on keyboards, Daniel Kölsch on sax and clarinet, and Will Melville on guitar, mandolin and vocal harmony. Videography by Jana Gracia.
Photo memoir Book
Afghanistan: Before the Rain of Fire
This photo book is a memoir of travels in the mountains of Afghanistan in 1977, looking at the beauty and dignity of this extraordinary country “before the rain of fire”. It was at the end of a long period of peace, just a few months before a coup d’etat that triggered the ongoing armed conflict.
If you would like to buy a copy of the book in English or French (e-book OR hard cover) please contact Chris.
“I was blown away by the book. Searing and powerful memories… Brilliant story, wonderful photos!”
David Edwards, former Canadian diplomat
“Chris Lowry’s photos and narrative do not pretend to offer an explanation and analysis of all this war and repression, but they challenge the viewer and reader to re-assess “Afghanistan” and its people and landscapes, as if seeing and considering them clearly for the first time.”
Grahame Russell, international human rights lawyer, Founder/Director of the NGO, Rights Action
MIND MULCH, CRANIUM COMPOST
Here’s a piece I published in the Journal of Wild Culture online, The War On… Scarcity — a PDF version for you, compliments of Ecotone.
One of my articles on wildculture.com was used by the defense lawyer in a class action court case against Monsanto in Mexico this year. The story helped to demonstrate international interest in the issue. This was an important win in an ongoing struggle. Read it here:
I was the Senior Editor of the original Journal of Wild Culture, designed and published on paper for a few years in the mid-1980s, in the days of wax rollers and paste-up artwork (so much more fun!). Wild Culture now thrives online.
Ecology and imagination, irreverence and mischief. wildculture.com.
Here is a short essay about some remarkable paintings: Matthew Schofield: At Play with Memory and Imagination.
Here is a review of the work of Toronto-based painter Andrew Rucklidge, Northern Alchemy: Through Rocks Toward Essence.
Painting by Matthew Schofield, courtesy of Metivier Gallery
Chris Lowry CD CAN BE DOWNLOADED FROM BANDCAMP
My first album, Chris Lowry produced with David Woodhead, is available to download from Bandcamp.
You can also find it on ITunes, Spotify, YouTube and Amazon Music!
All photos by Chris Lowry unless otherwise credited.
Cover photo on the CD is by David Lee.
Contact: Email email@example.com.