Ross McLaren

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For the football player, see Ross MacLaren.
Ross McLaren
Born 1953
Sudbury, Ontario, Canada
Nationality Canadian
Education Ontario College of Art
Known for Film, Video
Movement Avant-Garde

Ross McLaren is a Canadian artist and filmmaker based in New York City.


McLaren was born in 1953 in Sudbury, Ontario, Canada and graduated with honors from Ontario College of Art, where he also did post-graduate work. He is faculty at Cooper Union, Fordham University and Pratt Institute, and also taught at Millennium Film Workshop in New York City.



Since 1976, McLaren has worked as a filmmaker, scholar, teacher, curator, critic, and community organizer. He founded and was first director of the Funnel Film Centre in Toronto, Ontario, Canada, an institution devoted to the production, exhibition, and distribution of film. As founder/director, McLaren encouraged continued recognition of film—particularly Super 8—in his native country.


His films include: Crash 'n' Burn: the "self-destructive document of Toronto’s eponymous punk club,"[1] Wave, Weather Building, Dance of the Sacred Foundation Application (feat. Jack Smith), Sex Without Glasses, and the Ann Arbor Film Festival award-winning sensation Summer Camp.

A recipient of such prestigious grants as Ontario and Canada Council awards, McLaren has shown his works worldwide. His films screened at MoMA, Anthology Film Archives, the Menil Collection, the National Film Theatre in London, the Centre Georges Pompidou, the Biennale du Paris, Documenta VI, Jyväskylä University in Finland, and ARKEN Museum of Modern Art in Denmark. His work, which was presented in such esteemed venues as the Edinburgh, Toronto, and Oberhausen Film Festivals, is found in several permanent collections, including that of the American Federation of Arts, New York, the Arts Council of Great Britain, the Art Gallery of Ontario, Toronto, Ottawa’s National Film Archives and the National Gallery of Canada.

Selected filmography[edit]

  • Winning, 40 min (2005)
  • Wave, 5 min. (2004)
  • Dance of the Sacred Foundation Application (feat. Jack Smith), 15 min. (2003)
  • Lapland, 3 min. (2002)
  • Muted Horn, Squeaky Stool, 9:11 min. (2001)
  • Another Story, S-8, 5 min. (1988)
  • Spin, 16mm, 1 min. (1987)
  • Warehouse Eyes, S-8 & 16mm, 13 min. (1986)
  • Tilt, S-8, 3 min. (1985)
  • Let's Run Amok, S-8, 3 min. (1984)
  • Sex Without Glasses, 16mm 12:30 min. (1983)
  • Calgary Girls, S-8, 5 min. (1983)
  • Launch 5ive, S-8, 2:38 min. (1982)
  • 9 X 12, 16mm, 1 min., (also microfiche insert for Impulse Magazine) (1979–81)
  • Wednesday, January 17, 1979, 16mm, 4:40 min. (1979)
  • Snorkel, 16mm. 10:10 min. (1976–79)
  • Summer Camp, 16mm, 60 min. (1978)
  • Crash 'n' Burn, 16mm, 27:45 (1977)
  • I.E., 16mm, 14:45 min. (1976)
  • Weather Building, 16mm, 10:15 min. (1976) (features weather beacon on the Canada Life Building)
  • Baby Green, S-8, 10:15 min. (1974)

Academic appointments[edit]

Selected awards and distinctions[edit]

See also[edit]

References and sources[edit]

  1. ^ Springer. "Creemedia," Creem, Vol. 10, No. 4, Sept. 1978.

Further reading[edit]

  • Allan, Blaine. "Toronto: A Play of History," 1987
  • Allan, Blaine. "The Funnel," NFT, Kingston, 1981
  • Birnie. "Canadian Experimental Film in the 70's," 1978
  • Bruce, B. "Cinema of Transgression," Cine Action 5, 1986
  • “En Garde,” The Independent Eye, vol.10 #3, 1989
  • Ensom. "Toronto Festival Celebrates Super 8," 1977
  • Fleming. "Filming Buildings, Building Films," Parachute, 1981
  • Fleming. "Light at the End of the Funnel," Fuse, vol. 4, 1980
  • Gronau. "Magic, Witchcraft and Film", Parallelogram, 1982
  • Hall. "A Funnel for Talent," Cinema Canada, #52, 1979
  • Kelly, B. "Punk At The Movies," Graffiti #2, vol.#4, 1986
  • London Art Gallery. "Uncommon Language." London Art Gallery: London, 1984
  • MacDonald, Scott. “A Critical Cinema 3: Interviews With Independent Filmmakers,” University of California, 1998
  • Marchessault, Janine. “Film Scenes: Paris, New York, Toronto,” Public, Issue 22/23, York University Press, Toronto, 2003
  • Marras. "McLaren's Films," Art Communication #4, 1977
  • Mays, J. B. "Cache Du Cinema," Toronto Globe & Mail, 1985
  • McBride-Glassman. "The Displaced Narrator," 1985
  • National Gallery of Canada. "Filmmakers Series IV," National Gallery: Ottawa, 1980
  • O’Connor, Alan. “Local Scenes and Dangerous Crossroads: Punk and Theories of Cultural Hybridity,” Popular Music Vol. 21/2, Cambridge University Press, London: 225-36, 2002
  • Povere. "Moving Pictures In A Gallery," Ottawa Revue, Ottawa, 1980
  • Savage & Berlin. "McLaren at the Funnel," Hide, #3, 1983
  • Scott, Jay. "Movies Made Personal," Toronto Globe & Mail, 1979
  • Springer. "Creemedia," Creem vol. 10, #4, 1978
  • Wado. "Ontario Film Series," Cinema Parallele, 1980
  • Wlaschin, K. "Rock Movies in the 70's," British Film Institute: London, 1978

External links[edit]