Rebel Angel is a feature length documentary about Ross Woodman (1922-2014) the remarkable but little-known husband of Jungian author Marion Woodman. It’s the story of a man who touches many lives and achieves cultural influence while remaining “like a shadow moving through history.”
In contrast, Marion Woodman’s books inspired readers all over the world. Her work attracted the attention of celebrities like Barbra Streisand, Jane Fonda and Oprah.
Ross Woodman’s psychological and spiritual readings of Blake, Shelley, the English Romantics made him unforgettable. Through the prism of his deeply troubled life, Rebel Angel explores the dynamic between creativity and madness in movies, poetry and art.
The film also examines Woodman’s essential role as a critic and patron of the London ‘regionalist’ art scene in the 60s, when Art in America magazine called London the most important art centre in Canada. The painter Jack Chambers met Woodman as a student in 1952 and they remained close friends for the rest of the artist’s life.
Recounting how he escaped to movie theatres in the Winnipeg of his childhood, Woodman says “I invented myself at the movies”. Hollywood movies of the 30s and 40s help tell the story of Rebel Angel, as does a large cache of previously unseen newsreel films of London, Ontario from the mid-1950s through the late 1980s.
Writer/Director Chris Lowry was one of many students of Woodman who went on to make a difference in the arts, media and education. They include playwright David Young (Inexpressible Island, Glenn), sports journalists Scott Russell and Stephen Brunt, actress Kate Nelligan (Eye of the Needle, Prince of Tides).
“Having Ross Woodman as my professor was both a blessing and a curse,” narrates Lowry. “My life became a series of experiments. I was a producer, a community organizer, a writer, and a dreamer. Ross provoked me to reform the world, one project at a time.”
“I started working on Rebel Angel in 2016,” says Lowry. “But it really started seventeen years earlier in 1999, when I interviewed Ross about his life and his ideas, an unfinished project. After he died, I saw that footage as if for the first time, and realized it was the spine of a film.”
Featuring original music by multi-instrumentalist David Woodhead, Rebel Angel includes extensive historical footage of both Ross and Marion Woodman.
Chris Lowry is an award-winning film maker. He has worked in international development and environmental non-profits. He co-founded Green Enterprise Toronto (2005-2009), Street Kids International (1988-1998), Razorback Press (1983-86), The Brewers Plate (2008-13), and The Journal of Wild Culture (Ecology and Imagination). He also sings with a band, doing fresh interpretations of the work of great songwriters.
The production of Rebel Angel marks Lowry’s return to filmmaking, his first love.
View the trailer here https://vimeo.com/736656867
Rebel Angel, a film by Christopher Lowry (89 minutes)
For opportunities to preview the film for review or distribution please contact
Ecotone Productions, Chris Lowry firstname.lastname@example.org 416-254-3677
What people are saying about Rebel | Angel:
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 Toronto Metropolitan University (formerly Ryerson)
So much love there with zero sentimentality!
I can’t remember watching a movie like that before.
—John Hoedl, Jungian Analyst, President of the International Society
for Psychology as the Discipline of Interiority
Far-reaching... It is a wonderful study of a cultural moment in Canada’s maturing cultural life...
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
This is a great piece of Canadian intellectual history.
—Megan Williams, CBC, NPR journalist and author
A cogent, compelling, moving, profound and beautiful film.
—David Schatzky, former CBC radio host
Great narrative from start to finish.
—Seaton McLean, film maker and co-founder Atlantis Films