This premiere screening and sidebar is presented in conjunction with Harvard University Art Museum’s exhibition, Sharon Lockhart: Pine Flat. The exhibition will take place at the Sackler Museum from August 26 through November 19.
September 10 (Sunday) 6:30 pm
September 24 (Sunday) 6:30 pm Special Event - Admission $10 Sharon Lockhart in Person
October 14 (Saturday) 6:30 pm
Directed by Sharon Lockhart
US 2005, 16mm, color, 135 min.
Sharon Lockhart is internationally recognized for films and photographs that frame quiet moments of everyday life. This program presents her newest project, which focuses on the landscape and children of a small community of three hundred in the foothills of the Sierra Nevada Mountains of central California. Over a period of three years, Lockhart made numerous extended visits to this community and slowly immersed herself in the people and the place. The film portrays the town’s children as they engage in activities such as playing, reading, hanging out, and hunting in stunningly beautiful natural settings. Sometimes Lockhart directed the children, and at other times they improvised, but there is throughout the film an ease of interaction and an intimacy that the artist achieved in part by simplifying her process: she eliminated her customary film crew, learned to use a movie camera herself, and employed a composer friend as sound technician. This created a space in which the dividing line between artist and subject was softened and interpersonal exchanges were illuminated in new ways. The screening of Pine Flat at the Institute of Contemporary Art in Boston on November 9 has been cancelled.
This petite series of two short and three feature-length films places a global lens upon the experience of childhood. As in much of the artist Sharon Lockhart’s work, one discovers in each of these films that the more particularized the portrayals, the more universal the impact. There is as well an uncanny sense that the simplicity and exuberance of the young subjects (Apu, Ahmad, Sili, Martin) has had a significant impact upon the mode of representation—as if the “untutored eye” of childhood had shaped the mise-en-scene of the films. This series was curated by Bruce Jenkins and Sharon Lockhart.
September 10 (Sunday) 9 pm
Directed by Djibril Diop Mambety
Senegal/Switzerland 1999, 35mm, color, 45 min.
Wolof with English subtitles
Conceived as the second installment of an unfinished trilogy of dramatic shorts entitled “Tales of Little People,” Sengalese filmmaker Mambety created this luminous portrait of a young handicapped girl named Sili and her determination to be a street vendor of Le Soleil, the national newspaper of Senegal. The Little Girl Who Sold The Sun is at once a tribute to the indomitable spirit of the street children of Dakar and an allegory of the force of the individual’s capacity to transform her situation.
Directed by Satyajit Ray
India 1955, 35mm, b/w, 115 min.
With Subir Bannerjee, Kany Bannerjee, Karuna Bannerjee
Bengali with English subtitles
Ray believed that the scenario for his first film, adapted from the popular novel by Bhibuti Bashan Bannerjee, could serve to establish a new artistic cinema for India. Inspired by Italian Neorealism, the films of Jean Renoir, and the work of writer/philosopher Rabindranath Tagore, Pather Panchali tells the story of a poor Bengali scholar and writer and his wife and two children. Making wonderful use of exteriors and of professional and non-professional actors, who seem inseparable from the characters they play, the film provides a penetrating look into family life and especially the world of the children, who venture out to discover the wonders and difficulties of life, the pettiness of humanity, and the violence of nature.
September 17 (Sunday) 6:30 pm
Directed by Jean Eustache
France 1975, 35mm, color, 123 min.
With Martin Loeb, Ingrid Caven, Jacqueline Dufranne
French with English subtitles
Following the success of The Mother and the Whore, Jean Eustache was finally able to make the equally personal but vastly different My Little Loves—a portrait of his childhood in the south of France in which every footstep, every gesture, and every visual detail seems drawn directly from the filmmaker’s memory. Young Martin Loeb plays Daniel, Eustache’s thirteen-year-old alter ego, and he figures in every scene of this exquisite chronicle of a “sentimental education.” Beautifully photographed by Nestor Almendros, My Little Loves (the title is taken from a Rimbaud poem) reaches its emotional climax during an extended scene in which Daniel gets his first kiss in a movie theater showing Pandora and the Flying Dutchman.
September 17 (Sunday) 9 pm
Directed by Helen Levitt
US 1952, 16mm, b/w, sound (piano performance by Arthur Kleiner), 16 min.
Photographer Helen Levitt's short and deceptively simple film was a collaborative effort with fellow still photographer Janice Loeb and the critic and writer James Agee. Like much of Levitt's photographic work, the film attempts to capture the lives of working-class people by documenting the ordinary activities of an Upper East Side neighborhood in Manhattan. Most poignant are Levitt's candid views of children and the ongoing transformative drama that she reveals in the street.
Directed by Abbas Kiarostami
Iran 1987, 35mm, color, 80 min.
With Babek Ahmadpoor, Ahmad Ahmadpoor
Farsi with English subtitles
This is the first work in a trilogy of films that would bring Iranian director Kiarostami to international prominence. Set in a village in northern Iran, Where Is the Friend’s House? is the simple yet powerful tale of a young boy named Ahmad who discovers he has accidentally taken the notebook of a school friend who lives in a nearby village. Determined to locate his friend, Ahmad bravely journeys to places—both geographical and psychological—he has never ventured before.