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VES Film & Video Faculty

April 5 (Thursday) 7 pm

An Evening with Alfred Guzzetti

Osgood Hooker Professor on Visual Arts, Alfred Guzzetti is a gifted maker of documentary and experimental work in both film and video. His feature-length Family Portrait Sittings (1975), in which his parents sat before camera and microphone for their portraits, epitomizes his lifelong interest in the personal documentary—an approach which takes the artist’s own experience as a starting point. In the mid-1980s, distressed by U.S. opposition to the Nicaraguan revolution, he joined with two friends, Richard Rogers and Susan Meiselas, in making Living at Risk: The Story of a Nicaraguan Family and the award-winning feature Pictures from a Revolution. Skeptical for many years of small-format video—thinking it an inferior substitute for film and put off by its bleeding, unstable colors and small, poorly resolved images—Guzzetti delayed until the mid-1990s working in the medium. Shooting at first in Hi8 and then in digital video, Guzzetti has created an impressive cycle of short videotapes that focus on "the daily experience of contem-porary life, its assaults on us in public places, in television, our ineffectual refuge in the private and the distant." In recent works like A Tropical Story and The Tower of Industrial Life, Guzzetti captures the multivoiced and multilayered nature of experience, the distinctive way in which the "things that we see and hear daily mix with the conscious and unconscious stream of our thoughts, fears, and memories." His tapes have been screened at the New York Video Festival and featured in the recent Digital Room program in Copenhagen.

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Harvard Film Archive • Carpenter Center • 24 Quincy Street • Cambridge MA 02138 • 617-495-4700