Calendar of Events

Concrete Cinema / Ryan Eslinger Presents Madness and Genius

Jul 7, 2012, 7:00pm

Free and open to the public.

Cash bar.

All programs include Q&A sessions with the artists.

Saturday, july 7

Doors: 7:00 pm

Screening: 8:00 pm (dusk)

Free and open to the public. Cash bar. All programs include Q&A sessions with the artists.

Join us for a new series exploring the connections between cinema and performance. Over the course of four evenings, we present films as well as film-based performances projected in CAM’s Courtyard.


Born in Alton, Ill., but raised in Chesterfield, Ryan Eslinger was always precocious in his artistic pursuits, attempting a novel while still in elementary school. That interest mutated into a desire to write and draw comic books, but by middle school Eslinger had started pounding out screenplays. Pursuing a directorial dream, he headed to film school at New York University. While at NYU, he shot the long-gestating feature Madness and Genius, which he began work on when he was 13 – first as a novel, then as a comic book, and eventually as a film script. Eslinger continued to reshape the screenplay throughout high school and college, and his persistence paid off when the end result finally premiered at the 2003 Toronto International Film Festival. Eslinger has since made When a Man Falls, whose cast includes Timothy Hutton, Sharon Stone, Dylan Baker, and Pruitt Taylor Vance, and the micro-budgeted thriller Daniel and Abraham. Most recently, he served as co-producer and editor on the documentary The Hopeful. (Cliff Froehlich)


Madness and Genius
2004, United States, video (HDTV), stereo, English, 103 mins.

Shot in 18 days on high-definition video for $20,000, Madness and Genius is a stark black-and-white drama about a group of hyper-intelligent but emotionally dysfunctional college students and an eccentric, troubled professor (Tom Noonan of Manhunter). Set in the world of academic physics, the film focuses on the clash between teacher and student over the joint discovery of a highly theoretical scientific marvel. Native St. Louisan Ryan Eslinger not only wrote, produced and directed the film – made between his second and third year at New York University – but also edited, created the sound design, and composed and performed the music. A co-presentation of the St. Louis Filmmaker’s Showcase (SLFS) and the Contemporary Art Museum’s Concrete Cinema series, Madness and Genius features a post-film discussion with Eslinger.

Co-presented with Cinema St. Louis.


Upcoming Concrete Cinema presentations:

August 9 - HOME (2010) and the world premiere of a new projector performance by Andrew Lampert.