Visions of the 20th Century Through the Lens of Ira Latour (University Film Series)

Rated 4.0

Ira Latour, professor of art history at Chico State from 1968 until 1991, has had a long, illustrious career in photography that continues to this day. Mike Wellins’ fine hour-long documentary on the art and life of the man, premiering Tuesday night on campus (with Latour and Wellins present), deftly showcases Latour’s wonderfully evocative photographs from Europe in the 1950s and a lifelong brilliance with portraiture as well. And all that is neatly interspersed with Latour’s on-camera reminiscences (and sometimes-curmudgeonly observations) and film footage shot by Latour, including recently restored excerpts from material shot during his tour of duty in a World War II fighter squadron. The film excerpts, especially his ravishing color footage of Spanish dancers in the mid-1950s, will be a special revelation for local viewers who know Latour only by his still photography. Wellins has done some sharp portraiture of his own here, and the music (by Eric Bute, Dean Wellins and Los Changos) adds some special flavors to the mix. Chico State’s Humanities Center’s weekly film series. Tues., May 1, 7:30 p.m. $3 suggested donation. Ayres 106 on the Chico State campus