The Case of the Vanishing Gods

A fable out of time told with puppets and film clips, The Case of the Vanishing Gods is a new kind of hybrid: half dream / half document. Our hero is a tortured ventriloquist’s dummy who’s lost his memory. Under hypnosis by a strange doctor, his lost memories are recovered - and relate a cultural history of ventriloquism from the prophetic tradition to the modern horror film.

  • Ross Lipman
  • Ross Lipman
  • David Isaacson
    Key Cast
  • Jeff Dorchen
    Key Cast
  • Audrey Densmore
    Key Cast
  • Karl Herlinger
    Key Cast
  • Project Type:
    Documentary, Experimental, Feature
  • Runtime:
    1 hour 11 minutes
  • Completion Date:
    June 30, 2021
  • Country of Origin:
    United States
  • Country of Filming:
    United States
  • Language:
  • Shooting Format:
  • Aspect Ratio:
  • Film Color:
    Black & White and Color
  • First-time Filmmaker:
  • Student Project:
  • World Premiere: Locarno Film Festival 2021, winner Selezione Pixel
    August 7, 2021
    Locarno Film Festival
    Official Selection. Winner, Selezione Pixel (out of competition, from Corriere del Ticino)
  • BAFICI, 2022
    Buenos Aires
    South American
    Avant-Garde & Genre Official Competition
Director Biography - Ross Lipman

Ross Lipman is an independent filmmaker, archivist, and essayist. His films have screened throughout the world and been collected by museums and institutions including the Academy Film Archive, Anthology Film Archives, Northeast Historic Film, the Oberhausen Kurzfilm Archive, Budapest's Balazs Bela Studios, and Munich's Sammlung Goetz. His 2015/16 feature NOTFILM was named one of the 10 best films of the year by ARTFORUM, SLATE, and many others.

Formerly Senior Film Restorationist at the UCLA Film & Television Archive, his many restorations include Charles Burnett's KILLER OF SHEEP, Kent Mackenzie's THE EXILES, Barbara Loden’s WANDA, the Academy Award-winning documentary THE TIMES OF HARVEY MILK, and works by Charlie Chaplin, Orson Welles, Shirley Clarke, Kenneth Anger, Julie Dash, Robert Altman, and John Cassavetes. He was a 2008 recipient of Anthology Film Archives' Preservation Honors, and is a three-time winner of the National Society of Film Critics' Heritage Award. His writings on film history, technology, and aesthetics have been published in Artforum, Sight and Sound, and numerous academic books and journals.

In addition to his filmmaking and restoration work, Lipman has also been one of the pioneers in the field of live documentary/performance essay. His most recent work in this form, THE EXPLODING DIGITAL INEVITABLE, on Bruce Conner's CROSSROADS, premiered in 2017 at the Rotterdam International Film Festival.

Noted documentarian Thom Andersen has described Lipman as “one of the most original essay film artists now working in the U.S.”

Recent restorations include Nietzchka Keene's THE JUNIPER TREE featuring Björk, and experimental artist Eleanor Antin's THE MAN WITHOUT A WORLD. His new film, THE CASE OF THE VANISHING GODS, is slated for premiere in late summer 2021.

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