The Dan Dinello Collection consists of 16mm prints and DVDs of films directed by Chicago-based experimental filmmaker Dan Dinello. The films were all independently produced, financed through a mixture of grants, personal funds, and money raised by the filmmaker's friends and supporters. The collection includes fictional narrative and experimental films made between 1977 and 1997.
Many of the films were created in collaboration with artists in Chicago, and focus on telling the stories of society's outliers. While the works are concerned with expressing socio-political issues, they also share a dark sense of humor. Included in the collection are the films Shock Asylum (1996), Wheels of Fury (1997), and Rock Lobster (1980).
A filmmaker, journalist, and author, native Chicagoan Dan Dinello (Professor Emeritus at Columbia College Chicago) is a member of the DGA (Directors Guild of America). From 1977 to 1998, Dan made several award-winning shorts as an independent filmmaker. These included several collaborations with his nephew Paul Dinello (The Late Show, At Home with Amy Sedaris, Strangers With Candy), Shock Asylum and Beyond the Door — both starred Paul and Stephen Colbert, and, Wheels of Fury, starring Paul Dinello and Amy Sedaris. Among other films, he made the new wave/disco musical Rock Lobster (1980), created a music video documentary about the African music legend Fela Anikulapo Kuti (1985) and an early documentary on the gay and lesbian liberation movement Pink Triangles Rising (1982).
Alongside this work, Dinello contributed chapters to ten books about philosophy, science fiction (such as The Ultimate Star Trek and Philosophy) and music (The Who and Philosophy). He’s written over 300 articles for various publications including The Chicago Tribune, New City, Chicago Reader, Alternative Press, Salon.com, and the Guardian. Most recently he’s published political articles on the website Informed Comment.
In 2019, he wrote his third book, Children of Men. Published by Oxford University Press/Auteur Press/Liverpool University Press in 2019, Children of Men investigates Alfonso Cuarón’s 2006 dystopian, science fiction film masterpiece of the same name. His other two books are Finding Fela: My Strange Journey to Meet the AfroBeat King – a memoir of a 1983 trip to Lagos, Nigeria, to film African musical legend Fela Kuti; his first book is Technophobia! Science Fiction Visions of Posthuman Technology.
Dinello received an MFA in Film and Video from the University of Wisconsin and taught for 33 years at Columbia College Chicago. He was born and raised in Chicago and went to Fenwick HS in Oak Park where he was an All-State football player and winner of the Michigan Yost Award. He went to the University of Illinois, Champaign, on a football scholarship and, after rejecting a football career, he graduated from UI-Chicago with a degree in philosophy.