Tuesday, March 7, 2017 at 7:30pm
Four Films by Richard P. Rogers
155 Freeman Street, Brooklyn
Presented by Jeremy Rossen
Richard P. Rogers (1944–2001) maintained two full-time careers: he was a celebrated director and producer of nonfiction films as well as an inspired teacher of still photography and filmmaking at Harvard. Rogers’s appetite for knowledge was omnivorous, taking him from the jungles of Nicaragua to the fountains of Rome, from the bedrooms of colonial New England homes to the streets of working-class Albany, and throughout these travels his unsparing artist’s eye often turned back onto himself. With topics that ranged across art and architecture, history and literature, his films spoke in many voices—politically engaged, personal, experimental. Though perhaps best known for the long form independent documentaries Living at Risk and Pictures from a Revolution (both collaborations with Susan Meiselas and Alfred Guzzetti), at Harvard he was also a mentor to new generations of committed filmmakers, and under his directorship the Film Study Center became an important catalyst for nonfiction production.
Quarry, 1970, 16mm, 12 mins
This portrait of an abandoned quarry in Quincy, Massachusetts captures the striking natural beauty of the site as it explores the social rites of the young people who gather along its rugged shores to enjoy leisure in what was once a place of toil.
Elephants: Fragments of an Argument, 1973, 16mm, 27 mins
A self-portrait of the filmmaker at twenty-nine, this provocative collage of photographs, street scenes, and interviews with family and friends seeks to prove that "one’s consciousness is the result of one’s relationship to power and not, as many believe, vice-versa."
Neighbors: Conservation in a Changing Community, 1977, digital projection, 28 mins
When filmmaker Richard Rogers and producer Janet Mendelsohn were funded by the National Endowment for the Arts to make a film about the growing interest in neighborhood conservation, they chose Boston's South End—an ethnically and economically diverse community that, like many other American cities at the time, had found itself in the midst of the urban renewal process. The resulting film, Neighbors, examines the challenges and opportunities of neighborhood revitalization through the stories of 12 South End residents. The older, working class population is juxtaposed with the more affluent newcomers, who are attracted by the prime location and historic architecture as well as the cultural mix of the locale.
226–1690, 1984, 16mm, 23 mins
Rogers created this "minimalist soap opera" out of messages left on his telephone answering machine over the course of an entire year. Together with the accompanying visuals of scenes shot from the windows of the filmmaker’s New York loft, the recordings provide an amusing account of life caught between the public and the private; we see weddings take place in the church across the street, passersby struggling through the snow on the sidewalk, and gradually become submerged in the meditative rhythms of Rogers’s interior world.
Followed by a conversation with Jeremy Rossen, Susan Meiselas, and Alexander Olch.
Jeremy Rossen is the Assistant Curator at the Harvard Film Archive, where he works with both the cinematheque and archival collections. Rossen has worked previously as a curator and co-founder of Cinema Project in Portland and as an archivist for Mississippi Records. He has curated moving image programs at various venues around the world since 2001.
Susan Meiselas joined Magnum Photos in 1976 and has worked as a freelance photographer since then. She is best known for her coverage of the insurrection in Nicaragua and her documentation of human rights issues in Latin America. She published her second monograph, Nicaragua, in 1981. Meiselas served as an editor and contributor to the book El Salvador: The Work of Thirty Photographers and edited Chile from Within featuring work by photographers living under the Pinochet regime. She has co-directed two films, Living at Risk: The Story of a Nicaraguan Family and Pictures from a Revolution with Richard P. Rogers and Alfred Guzzetti.
Alexander Olch studied filmmaking under Richard P Rogers at Harvard. The Windmill Movie (2009), made in collaboration with Susan Meiselas about the life of Richard Rogers, was his debut feature. Olch is the founder of Metrograph, an independent movie house which opened in Manhattan in 2016.
Tickets - $8, available at door.
Please note: seating is limited. First-come, first-served. Box office opens at 7pm.