Raised in Teheran, Iran, Philip R. Fagan has traveled extensively throughout the US, Latin America, Europe and the Middle East. In addition to four years at sea with the US Navy, he has worked as a bartender, day laborer, public school teacher, travel agency manager, and as a Texas State-Certified Private Investigator. He has attended more punk rock shows and midnight movies than he cares to remember even if he could.
Fagan received his B.A. degree from the University of North Texas, where he studied film, literature and theater and received the President’s Screenwriting Award. He went on to receive an M.A. degree in film studies and new media from Northern Illinois University in 2006, where he produced the feature film “Welldigger” as his thesis. He studied media and culture in Ireland for both degrees before returning to Austin, Texas in 2007.
A passionate and literate cineaste and working filmmaker, his work has been featured locally at the Lone Star Film Festival, Alamo Drafthouse, and AFS Cinema, as well as Anthology Film Archives in New York. His film and multimedia work has also been commissioned for gallery installations, served as opening acts for touring musicians, and received the live musical score treatment. He continues to enjoy collaborations with musicians and performance-based artists.
As a film programmer, he has curated, introduced films, and written program notes for the Austin Film Society, Alamo Drafthouse, the Contemporary Austin, the University of Texas, and New York’s Museum of Modern Art. From 2015-2019, he was a lead programmer for Austin’s Experimental Response Cinema, presenting a wide array of works of the classic and contemporary avant-garde cinema.
Fagan’s current research and work includes a film and book project on his late uncle. Philip Norman Fagan was a true Beat era maverick: Motorcycle gang member and world speed champion, wandering monk in war torn Southeast Asia, performance artist, and underground film pioneer. The project chronicles his involvement in the various subcultures of the 1950s and 60s, including his collaborations and relationships with William Burroughs, Alejandro Jodorowsky, Gregory Markopoulos, Jonas Mekas, Marie Menken, Jack Smith, and Andy Warhol, among others.
Fagan has taught academic film studies and production courses at Austin Community College since 2009 and began teaching at the University of Texas in 2019. His areas of focus include Silent Cinema, Film Noir; Underground and Experimental film; Hollywood and European Cinemas of the 1950s, 60s and 70s; German, British, Irish and Scandinavian Cinemas; Documentary; Portrayals of race, social class, and gender in cinema; Postmodernism and emerging media; Cultural Studies; and Literature and literary theory.