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nagooshedThe filmmaker formerly known as Scott Miller visited me last week, under his current incarnation “Coleman.” He’s explained this decision to push his middle name front and center as an attempt to stand out more in the increasingly Internet-oriented world of independent film making, but it still escapes my limited comprehension. If a guy as personality-laden as Miller has to lean on gimmick to get noticed, what hope could there possibly be for the rest of us? Still, he’s always handled my rockheaded resistance to his evolution with characteristic Midwestern aplomb, and typically diffuses my ill-timed if affectionate barbs with a well-placed “settle down, tough guy ..”

Though he’s currently booked on an indefinite engagement at the Chicago-based Arthur Miller Workshop for Kinetic Sculpture, the success of Scott’s recent New York City program may be a sign of things to come. He prefaced one short work, Bony Orbit, involving a copulating couple juxtaposed with an instructional film on the workings of the human eye with the qualification “well, I think it’s a riot, but we’ll see how it goes ..” This balance between self-contained amusement and an intense desire to connect with a larger audience has been something I’ve long admired in Miller, along with the obvious enjoyment he derives from his work. The trade-off of having to get used to “hey, you’ve reached Coleman” on his outgoing message is indeed small price to pay.

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