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November 17

An Evening with Robert Todd

These latest films offer a series of celebratory explorations, and, in some cases, transformations, of varied components of my life. To me, this set of works is an odd blend of performance and alchemical construction, freedom and control, a highly crafted and rather baroque diary. By way of a more general statement about the making of films, I offer this excerpt from a response to a question in a summer interview with Mike Hoolboom:

I was speaking with a painter friend about what the process is like. She was talking about a series she's making that are phases within a transitional state. I told her that this describes my making films—they are transitory and transitional: there doesn't seem to be a state of completion. While making Qualities of Stone in May 2006 I became interested in some things which were shot through the summer and fall for There, which in turn led me to shoot along more developed lines for Office Suite in the winter. In each instance, I felt that there was more to say because when I watched the footage cut together, it was nagging at me, not like a problem, but like a solution that I was having trouble seeing. Shooting was a way of seeing more.

But this only captures some of the picture; I do have little fires that crop up, and I obsess about pursuing them. The film that I have already made is the record of a process of discovery which I’m only casually interested in revisiting. The great thing about having a full program of my films is having the chance to see several movies flow as a set. This larger view is exciting because it blends various mysteries together that make more sense than I could ever glean from a single film.

Introduction and film descriptions written by Robert Todd. Special thanks to the Provostial Funds Committee.

Special Event Tickets $10
Monday November 17 at 7pm

Invisible River is a series of five films giving an insider's view of an ever-changing environment we call "city."

21 Alleys

Directed by Robert Todd, Appearing in Person
US 2007, 16mm, 8 min.
Print from Robert Todd

Part three of Invisible River.  Peering into the spaces that separate dwellings on a short, mixed-zoned street in Boston. Featuring interviews with varied members of a varied neighborhood.


Directed by Robert Todd, Appearing in Person
US 2007, 16mm, 2 min.
Print from Robert Todd

Part four of Invisible River. Your street is my street: a constricted frame in agitation – with intermission. Follow the bouncing Dig-Safe marks to sing along with the sweet music of jackhammers raging throughout this animation of the cryptic code of our urban caretakers.


Directed by Robert Todd, Appearing in Person
US 2008, 16mm, 18 min.
Print from Robert Todd

Part five of Invisible River. A series of dances that follows the invisible stream that once powered a multitude of businesses and breweries in Boston, in a sesquicentennial celebration of the Stonybrook River's culvert's construction.


Directed by Robert Todd, Appearing in Person
US 2006, 16mm, 7 min.
Print from Robert Todd

A dance piece humming along with the various places I inhabit: a play in three acts, a dance in three forms, three versions of paradise.

Office Suite

Directed by Robert Todd, Appearing in Person
US 2007, 16mm, 15 min.
Print from Robert Todd

If the lens of the camera is roseating, then I will take that as adding the red rub of a blush to things, that is to say, bringing a certain passion of vision to states/environments. We can feel/find rapture or elevation with strangers (seeking out the exotic), but how much more challenging (and/or subsequently rewarding) to find this within the familiar?


Directed by Robert Todd, Appearing in Person
US 2008, 16mm 19 min.
Print from Robert Todd

A eulogy (for my father-in-law) in four movements: sifting the four Elements, the film searches for the spirit through both chance and ritual, repeating a call for a cycle of life to be left open.


Directed by Robert Todd, Appearing in Person
US 2008, 16mm, 9 min.
Print from Robert Todd

My sustained appreciation for the richness of Light, developed initially in drawing media, has gradually met up with my development in filmmaking. Following the making of more externally directed films, I felt a need to turn inward and undertake a kind of Fantastic Voyage into my own lightstream-as-bloodstream.

 Listen to this evening's introductions, discussion and Q&A.

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